Category Archives: Volunteers

Supporting victims of hurricane Irma

PC Den Williams from Ely and PC Ross Beesley from Wisbech have just returned from the British Virgin Islands following the catastrophic damage caused by hurricane Irma feeling humbled by the three week experience…

“The world watched as hurricane Irma took hold of the Caribbean and travelled across the North Atlantic killing more than 120 people with winds of up to 185mph at the end of August.

News bulletins and social media sites were awash with images and videos showing the pure devastation hurricane Irma had left behind but nothing could prepare us for what we were about to witness.

We volunteered, along with more than 50 other officers from across the country, to offer mutual aid in the British Virgin Islands and flew out from RAF Brize Norton to Barbados on 9 September.

Words cannot describe the devastation. We saw it on the TV before we left but you are detached from the pictures and videos. It’s not until you are there that you can smell the sewage in the street, you avoid puddles not knowing if the power cable lying in it is live or not.

We saw 40ft containers that had been thrown around, homes without roofs and what was an island full of lush greenery turned into something like what you would see in a Hollywood movie.

Yet the people were still upbeat. Despite losing everything themselves they were committed to helping others. There was one woman in particular, Janet, who left her own teenage children to come to the aid of those in a children’s home.

With around 40 per cent of the islands police force unable to work because of the devastation caused to their own lives, the majority of our time was spent at banks to stop looting and robberies or at supermarkets and fuel stations to prevent panic buying.

The moment we landed and our presence was known, we were starting to make a difference. We were able to take some control and allow everyone to get on with try to rebuild what they had lost.

It wasn’t long after we arrived that we were put under a 24 hour curfew as hurricane Maria struck the islands.

Our efforts soon turned to offering reassurance to members of the public, giving people lifts from hospital and interacting with the families and children.

We were so touched by the community they were working with that we got in touch with the Police Federation and the Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, and were able to secure a donation to purchase books, toys, pens and pencils for the children.

The best part of the trip was seeing the small difference we were making. Seeing the children’s faces when you presented them with small gifts, playing ball with them. You couldn’t put a price on it.

Being in 40C heat, wearing full body armour and not being able to wash above the neck because of the E.coli in the water was a low. We were living without the basics but we had a roof over our heads, were fed and watered which is more than most had out there.

One of the things we will take away from the experience was a line from a gentleman who had lost his home, his belongings, everything. He said; ‘I’ve got life and as long as I have that, I can rebuild everything else’.”

“It is more than just a way to spend your spare time; it’s another career and can be a completely different way of life to what you’re used to”

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Chemist Louisa Bellis explains what it’s like being a Special

Being a Special Constable is like nothing I could have ever imagined or predicted. When I started the application process in 2010, I knew that I was interested in being a police officer, but I didn’t know if I would be a ‘good fit’ for the Force, or even if it would be something that I would ultimately enjoy or be good at. However, literally an hour into my first shift in January 2012 I knew it was for me and haven’t looked back since. 2,400+ operational hours later and I am still hooked and full of enthusiasm, wanting to do more.

I had always been interested in policing and law & order, and in my younger days had briefly thought about being an officer, but science won out and I headed off to university to study chemistry. After finishing my PhD, I was employed at a company where I had to travel frequently and never had much spare time. When I moved to Cambridgeshire from Yorkshire in 2009 for a new job, I suddenly found that I had a lot more free time and I started to consider constructive and rewarding ways that I could fill it. Whilst I was looking at volunteering positions, I remembered seeing an advertisement for being a Special Constable on television with the tagline of ‘Could You?’, which sparked my long-forgotten memories of wanting to be a police officer. Once I had investigated what being a Special Constable would entail, I knew instantly that was the direction I wanted to go in. The application and interview process was the most intensive that I have experienced (yes, even more so than applying for a PhD in chemistry!) and after being a police officer for the past three years, I can see why this is necessary. The process may be long and in-depth, but it is definitely worthwhile.

After attestation, I spent just under a year working with a shift in Cambridge City on the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT). This was an incredible eye-opener as to what goes on in the world that, generally, you are not exposed to except through the media, and even then it’s in a diluted format. In this team, you deal with anything from a simple Saturday shoplifting job to a vicious, drunken assault outside a nightclub. I loved my time in SNT, but I was always pulled towards the two and four-wheeled side of policing, also known as the Road Policing Unit (RPU). After applying and sitting the qualifying boards, I was accepted into RPU and this is where I have been for just over 2 years. My shifts with RPU are mostly made up of road traffic collisions (RTCs), speed enforcement and general patrols on the main arterial routes around Cambridgeshire. I have dealt with many broken down cars, which can involve literally pushing a car around a roundabout into a petrol station, or pushing them off the main road onto the grass verge (and slipping into the mud for my troubles) or protecting colleagues on the main roads by directing traffic around them whilst they help members of the public. I have attended more collisions than I can count, all of differing severity. I have no shame in telling people that some of these collisions have affected me emotionally afterwards, but the support that you are given by your regular colleagues is amazing and you never feel like you have to deal with things alone. On the flip side, I’ve been to more jobs that have been uplifting where I’ve walked away believing that I have helped or a made a difference in some small way.

It is more than just a way to spend your spare time; it’s another career and can be a completely different way of life to what you’re used to. It infiltrates everything you do; from the way you interact with people, to the experiences it gives you that no other job can. My day-to-day life as a scientist has given me the skills to be analytical and gather information before making decisions. This has come in handy when I have had to investigate crimes and offences. Another skill that I brought from my day job to the police was the ability to sit back and listen to people, which is very important when you are faced with members of the public who are distressed or angry.

However, it’s not all about what you can bring to the job, it’s also about what you can get out of it. In fact, my overall confidence has been increased, due to having to deal with such a variation of jobs and people and having to react immediately to whatever is thrown at you. It’s also made me more relaxed about situations and stopped me taking insults and criticisms personally. When you are a Special, you work alongside other Specials, either on shift or at various operations. For me, this has led to meeting some great people, some of whom I now consider to be my best friends. You are able to bond over shared experiences, such as juggling a full time job with carrying out hours as an officer. This can be tiring and mean that you miss out on a social life, but having a support network of people in a similar situation makes it a lot easier.

Specials are often used to train the new regular officers, new PCSOs, new Specials and even the Police Support Unit. This can involve you helping with role-plays or even pretending to be part of a violent disorder group. Days like these can be a lot of fun and you get to meet a lot of people. You also have the freedom to take part in interesting operations, such as traffic enforcement alongside VOSA and HM Customs, plain-clothes burglary patrols and drugs warrants. If football is your thing, Specials are frequently asked to help out at local football matches. A couple of operations that will stay with me are marshalling the Olympic Flame tour back in 2012 and the Tour De France in 2014, both of which were fabulous experiences that I couldn’t have got from anywhere else and the memories will last a lifetime.

Ultimately, being a Special Constable has changed me as a person, for the better. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ role and it isn’t for everyone, but I would urge people to try it out. I wouldn’t change any of the experiences that I have had for anything, as it’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done and I expect to continue for many years yet. For me, it gives me the best of both worlds. I get to be a scientist by day, which I love, and I get to be a police officer in the evenings and weekends, which I also love. I don’t have to choose between them and I get to enjoy having two careers at the same time. How many people can say that?

For more on becoming a Special visit here HERE

The challenges of dealing with a major incident

top-picIn her latest blog, new Special Constable Jodie Hayes describes the challenges and excitement of being involved in a major incident simulation exercise. 

The last few months on the beat have just been a whirlwind of different emotions. Even after nearly 17 weeks as a warranted officer, I still get a huge sense of pride when I put on my uniform. I have taken part in many different training days and events since my last blog.

The first was a simulated major incident with the fire service and East of England Ambulance. We hadn’t been given much detail about the day as they wanted to make it as real as possible, which naturally made me nervous!

I met up with four other officers from the force, as well as paramedics, firefighters, role-players and safety officers. As soon as I walked into the briefing room, the actors were covered in blood so I knew it was going to be something serious. The nerves, anticipation and adrenaline kicked in, and within half an hour we were out in the police cars waiting to be dispatched. Myself and my colleague were called on first and rushed to the scene on blue lights and sirens. When we pulled up at the location, we were faced with a heavy goods lorry that had collided with four vehicles. As we approached, we could hear people screaming.

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One vehicle was on its roof behind the lorry and had a young boy in the passenger seat who was unresponsive. Two vehicles had collided and one male had gone through the windscreen and was now lying on the bonnet. Although I knew it was only a simulation, I was terrified about doing the right thing and making sure that I did as much as I could to make sure everybody was safe. We updated control to explain what we saw and urgently requested that ambulance and the fire service were called.

Once that was done, I approached the young boy who was in the overturned car. He was covered in blood and there was smashed glass everywhere. I began talking to him and tried to gain as much information as I could, whilst still making sure my fellow colleagues were safe. It was quite a surreal experience because I had never been to a major incident before. As ambulance arrived, I was informed by a colleague that there was a moped underneath the lorry without a rider, which instantly made me panic. This meant that there was a victim who was unaccounted for.

Once the missing victim was found and my fellow officers assisted the fire crews and paramedics, I went over to another vehicle that had collided with the lorry and was now in the middle of a field. I went and spoke to him and managed to get into the back seat of the vehicle through an open window. I sat and supported his head while the paramedics did their checks, which determined that he had a possible spinal injury. As the car had been crushed during the collision, the fire fighters had to smash all of the windows and take the roof off the car, with me inside!

I learned so much during the simulation, not only from a police point of view, but also from a firefighter and ambulance point of view. It also gave me the confidence to know that if I did attend something like that during a shift, I could deal with it in an informed way.

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The second event I attended was a memorial service for fallen Specials at the National Arboretum. It was something I really wanted to go to, especially given how many police officers have died over the past few years. When you join the police, you also become a member of the police family and it becomes a very important part of your career. I drove up to Staffordshire with my sergeant and we had a bit of lunch before the service began. Officers and civilians had come from all parts of the country to show their support and it filled me with a huge sense of pride. Once the service was finished, we marched with a band down to the memorial and each constabulary laid a wreath in respect. It was very moving to know that so many officers, like myself, had made the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect the public. Becoming a Special has given me the opportunity to make memories, gain experience and has given so much many life skills I can use not only in my career, but my personal life too.

For more on becoming a Special, visit our Specials page

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Jodie with Special Sergeant Paul Jenkins

‘Work experience’ by William Andrews

Day 1 – Monday

Today was the first day of my work experience, I was introduced to all the staff and had a morning briefing with them. After the morning briefing, I did a tea and coffee and afterwards I met Natasha – she had a problem with her tablet so she took me up to headquarters in Huntingdon. While we were there I met a lovely lady who gave Natasha her phone, and we went back to Ely Police Station, when we got back I sat down with Sergeant Priestly, we went over the social media for the station, ‘Policing East Cambridgeshire’. After we had gone over this, I met Inspector Marcia Pringle, we had a one-to-one meeting where she told me all about what she does in her job – she is very nice and loved to have a chat. I also met DC Pete Ware who is very nice and likes a joke, I had a chat with him and he told me about what he does. I was then taken out into the yard where all the cars are and I got taught how to do the service checks on the cars, this includes checking the oil, screen wash, and other things, we also have to check if the tyre pressure is okay and check the tread on the tyres. When I had finished this, Sergeant Ryan Carter took me home in his police car.

Day 2 – Tuesday

Today, I met Donny, he is the ‘wisest man in the building’, we were in the front office and I watched Donny respond to his emails for a while. He then introduced me to Louise Titmarsh who is in charge of the CCTV room. I saw all the CCTV cameras around Ely and was told how it all worked. When I got back from the CCTV room PC Mark Howe took me outside into the yard and showed me all of their equipment such as the device they use to break doors down (this is super heavy!) and he also showed me devices for breaking locks and the devices for forcing entry into a building if a person is stuck or they need to gain entry in a hurry. After he had shown me all of this gear he showed me his police support unit (PSU) gear which includes flame-proof trousers and jacket. When we went back inside, I asked how handcuffs worked, so of course he showed me. He also showed me his belt with all sorts of equipment on it such as pava spray.

Day 3 – Wednesday

Again, I sat in on their briefing and went down to the office with Donny and started writing this blog. Once I had written part of my blog Donny and I went outside to his store cupboard in the yard, we found all of the seized drug equipment and we put it in some big plastic bags ready to be transported to Parkside in Cambridge. Some of the equipment included lights for heating the drugs while they are growing, and fans to cool and dry out the drugs when they have been cut. We then waited for the mail run from Huntingdon to come and collect the equipment. Last night, we had a gentleman’s wallet handed in, and that afternoon, the man it belonged to came in looking for his wallet, when we said we had got it, the smile on his face was cheek to cheek, he was very appreciative of the people that helped him get his wallet back, and got the name and phone number of the person who handed it in so he could contact them and say thank you.

Day 4 – Thursday

I sat in on the morning briefing again, once this was over I came down to the office again, while I was in the office, PCSO Maria Robinson came in and asked if I would like to go to a primary school where she would talk to the kids about what to do if a stranger approached them and how to get help from adults. This took up an hour-and-a-half. She is lovely with kids and was very good at getting them to engage with her and listen to what she was saying to them. On the way home she talked to me about what she does in the community. I think that she is awesome. She’s very kind and the time that I spent with her was lovely, she loves a joke and a laugh and likes to engage in conversation with you. It was only 12pm but because it was market day, already two people had come in and told us about their purses being stolen, luckily both of the people cancelled all of their cards so no money could have been taken out of their accounts. Another person came in and said they lost a wallet again today.

Day 5 – Friday

Today I brought a cake for the whole team which my mum baked the day before and asked me if I wanted to bring it in. Again I sat in on the briefing and had a chat afterwards. Everyone I met at the station were very kind and friendly, all of the officers love to have a joke and a laugh with you, if you ever need to report a crime or even if you have just lost or found an item, Donny and Jessica will deal with it, they are very nice and they love to have a chat with the people that walk in, and most of the time the members of the public that have had to report something always leave with a smile on their face; Donny and Jessica do really make peoples’ day and they help them feel safe and secure being the first people in the station they see. The highlight of my week happened in the last 20 minutes of my shift – a blind man and his carer came in, they told us that he had never felt a police car and would really love to, so Sgt Carter and I took them out to the yard where all of the police cars were. The man got to try on the body armour and he even got put in handcuffs, he also got to sit in the police car and even put the lights on.

During this one week I have learnt most of the people’s names that are in the building and I have learnt how to do lots of tasks, these include checking and tasking vehicles, serving people at the front desk, but most importantly… I learnt how to make the perfect cup of tea! But, on a serious note, this has been the best experience of my life, all of the staff are amazingly kind and I would like to thank every single one of them for having me, all of them gave me loads of advice for the future and they were all just genuinely kind and they all care about the community and the people in it.

Special thanks to Sgt Phil Priestly, Sgt Ryan Carter, Insp Marcia Pringle, Natasha, DC Pete Ware, PCSO Maria Robinson, PC Mark Howe and, of course, Donny and Jessica in the front office.

From Warsaw to Cambridgeshire – Aga’s Special story

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As a girl growing up in her native Poland, Special Constable Aga Strykier always wanted to work for the police. But she wanted to study first and after rejecting an offer to read law at university, left her family in Warsaw to come to the UK in 2009 at the tender age of 19.

She had learnt rudimentary English at school but knuckled down to master the language just before travelling to the UK to read criminology, and eventually law, at Aberystwyth University. Aga was not daunted by the prospect of leaving her family behind, preferring to see it as a challenge.

After graduating, she completed a Masters Degree in trans-national crime at Anglia Ruskin University and then applied to become a Special.

Now 25, Aga is a Special of some experience, having worked on exploitation in Fenland and in the domestic abuse investigation and safeguarding unit in Peterborough, but her main duties are on reactive patrols in Cambridge.

“I always wanted to work for the police, hence the choice of my studies, and seeing the opportunity to become a Special at the end of my Masters just seemed perfect.

“The training was absolutely amazing. It went very quickly. I got to meet new people with the same interests and passions and make new friends for life. Training is very convenient for anyone who has a full time position as it’s held evenings and weekends. There is a lot to learn but the instructors are always there to help.

“Once you become a Special, you get to know your colleagues and you become friends. Everyone looks after you and helps you get new experiences and learn more.

“Every moment while on duty makes me feel proud and you get such a great feeling when you arrive at the scene of a crime and you can help the victim and then catch the suspect.

“I feel very satisfied after doing good things and I know that I have not wasted my evening sitting in front of the TV: I prevented burglaries, I found a missing person, we got the evidence to prosecute the offender, we stopped a fight.

“My proudest moment was after my first arrest and the feeling it gave me.”

Aga has now begun the process of becoming a regular officer but is undecided as she has had a job in the force’s Central Intelligence Bureau and is about to move to the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit, where she will be an indexer.

She will use her time off between jobs this month to visit her family.

“I have gained so many different skills that can be transferred to everyday life”, Aga added.

“I always wanted to work for the police, both for the satisfaction of helping the public and for the excitement of the job. No day is ever the same and you never know what will be the next call from the control room. You never know what to expect and you’re learning every day.

“I would definitely advise other people to apply to become a Special. I’m absolutely loving it and it’s the best experience I have ever had. If you are a motivated person who actually wants to give something back to the community and learn and experience new things, this is definitely the place for you.”

Click here for more on becoming a Special

 

 

The “indescribable buzz” of being a Special

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Louisa Bellis has two careers that she loves – research scientist and Special. This results in 16-hour working days but her work on the road policing unit gives her an “indescribable buzz” she wouldn’t change for anything. For more on becoming a Special see HERE

My weekday normally starts when my alarm goes off at 6.20am. I get up and make some breakfast to eat whilst doing my morning surf of the Internet. I like to use this time to catch up on overnight worldly occurrences and any emails I may have been sent. Police officers work 24 hours a day, so you often wake up to an email sent to you at 2am! Once the caffeine has kicked in, I can get up and start to get ready for my main job.

I work as a cheminformatic scientist at an international research company. I got this position after I completed my PhD in anticancer drug design. I had always been interested in science, but equally had a passion for policing. I had to make a decision at 18 years old as to which path I should take and I chose university to study chemistry. After completing my degrees and working for a few years in my chosen field, I found myself with free time and wondered how best I could utilise it. I remembered seeing television adverts about being a Special Constable (“Could You?”) and after a quick Internet search; I found the application form for Cambridgeshire Constabulary. I am now in the very fortunate position that I get to have two careers that I love – something that not everyone can say.

A normal day consists of researching into the data that we store in the database, as well as answering email questions from external users. It can be a mentally taxing job sometimes, as you have to have great attention to detail and broad knowledge of chemical structures. Usually, my day ends at 6pm, but as I am working on a police Lates shift this evening, I’ve worked some extra time over the week so that I can finish earlier. I close down the computer and start off on the 30-mile journey to headquarters.

Once at HQ, I go to my locker to get kitted up and then go to get my airwave and pava spray. The RPU team to which I am assigned is already out on patrol as they started at 2pm and it’s now 6pm, so I use my radio to point to point the officer I’ve been crewed with to let them know that I am ready to be collected. Whilst I wait, I go through my emails and any post.

After a short while my crew partner arrives at HQ and we set off on patrol. I notify the control room that I am now under the call sign of the RPU vehicle and give them my radio number so they can send job details directly to me. Almost immediately a call comes in about a 3-vehicle road traffic collision (RTC) on the A14 and we call up on the radio to let them know we will attend. It’s rush hour so we know that it’s going to be tough to get there on a road without a hard shoulder. After weaving through traffic, and dodging vehicles that are trying to change lane in front of us as we’re driving down the centre of the lines of cars, we make our way to the crash site. At first glance, we can see that three cars are involved and there is an ambulance already in attendance. I get out of the vehicle first with the paperwork and seek out any witnesses, as the paramedics are dealing with the drivers. My crew partner secures the lane with cones, lights and signs and starts to organise recovery of the damaged vehicles. Once we get witness details, they are allowed to leave the scene and carry on their journey, and my attention turns to each of the drivers. I ask them for first accounts to get an idea of what happened so that we can find out whom, if anyone, is at fault for the RTC. We can take more detailed statements at a more convenient time, if necessary. At this point, a fire engine turns up and the fire officers make sure the vehicles are safe and won’t start any fires. A paramedic tells us that they are taking an injured driver to the hospital and that everyone else is fine, so I temporarily stop traffic to let the ambulance out. Once the ambulance is gone, my crew partner and I wait for the recovery vehicles to arrive and clear the scene; there is too much debris for us to move the vehicles ourselves. After the vehicles have been removed, we sweep the road, clear the cones, lights and signs and let the traffic run freely. All of this has taken about two hours.

After leaving the scene, I contact the control room and let them know that the vehicles have been recovered and that we are resuming our patrol.

As we drive back on the A14, we spot a vehicle on the other carriageway with its hazard lights on. It’s at the end of the slip road, where there’s no hard shoulder and is potentially dangerous for other road users, especially now it’s getting dark. We come off at the next slip road and get onto the other carriageway to see what’s going on. My crew partner stops the police car a good distance away from the stationary vehicle and puts the rear red lights on to warn other motorists. I get out, put my high visibility jacket on and hat to make me more noticeable, and go to speak to the occupants of the vehicle. It transpires that they had run out of petrol but thought they had enough time to get to a petrol station before it would run dry. As we couldn’t leave them in such a precarious position and after some consultation with my crew partner, we tell the driver that we will drive them to the nearest petrol station where they can get some fuel and then bring them back. This is quicker than waiting on their friend to come and meet them who was driving from some distance away. We do this, make sure their car is now mobile and drive behind them as they drive off the slip road.

It’s now about 9:30pm and we are getting hungry. We go to a local police station and sit down for something to eat and a quick drink. A couple of other RPU officers come and join us and we chat about the jobs we’ve been on that day. As we’re eating, a call comes in that there’s a domestic violence incident down the road from the police station. We hear a local unit call up to say that they’ll take it on, so we continue eating our dinner. A few minutes later, the local unit calls up for assistance as the suspect is actively resisting arrest and has become verbally and physically aggressive towards them. We quickly pack away the remains of our food, run to the car and drive to the help the local officers. As we approach the house, we notice the door is open so we go in to see what has been going on. Between the four of us we manage to use our communication skills to calm him down enough that he compliantly walks to the waiting police van. He was arrested to prevent breach of the peace.

By now, it’s 10:30pm so my crew partner and I decide to float around the city to see what’s happening and see if there are any noticeable traffic offences. We end up parking in a known speeding concern area and use the laser device to see if anyone is exceeding the posted speed limit. After we’ve stopped a couple of drivers each, it’s time to get back to HQ to write up our paperwork and hand our vehicle over to the night shift.

After handing in all of the paperwork, I put my kit back in my locker, put my coat on and head to my car. It’s now just after midnight and although working a 16-hour workday is tiring, working alongside the RPU team and attending incidents gives me an indescribable ‘buzz’ and feeling like I’m part of a team that I wouldn’t change for anything.

I get back home just before 1am. I’m booked on to do the Lates shift the next day, a Saturday, which starts at 2pm, so I get my uniform ready for that and go to bed.

 

The trials and tribulations of a first shift on the beat

Blog top.jpgOne of the constabulary’s newest Special constables, 21-year-old Jodie Hayes, takes us through the highs and lows of her first ever shift.

I have been nervous about new things before, but nothing like this. The anticipation of getting out and seeing a side of the community that I have never been exposed to before was a daunting challenge, but the excitement of putting my uniform on and making a difference was pulling me towards the station.

20:05. At the station a whole 55 minutes early before the start of my shift. My first heroic act of the night was to get completely and utterly lost – although I was given a station tour not too long ago, I had forgotten where everything was. Not the best start! However, thanks to a lovely colleague, I was shown to the locker room and I was able to pick up all my gear. Now I was ready to go!

First briefing was at 20:45. I was sat at the table with all of my new colleagues and I had brought the customary newbie cakes: flapjacks, brownies, shortbread and cookies. Fingers crossed that won them over! I then got to meet my tutor for the evening – she had the gruelling task of navigating me through my first shift and making sure that I didn’t get lost again. She was lovely and I instantly felt more comfortable.

15 minutes later and I was suddenly in a police car, blue lights on, sirens going and hurtling towards my first job out on the streets of Cambridgeshire. My heart was beating ten to the dozen and we pulled up outside a flat minutes later where a domestic argument and an assault had been reported. My tutor led the way and we went in and spoke to the parties involved. She spoke to the woman victim, whilst I stood in the hallway, speaking to the man who had potentially assaulted his wife. I took his details and a brief account of what had gone on before trying to check his details against the Police National Computer. In order to do this, I had to use my radio…. which was my second blunder of the day – in all the rush and panic of trying to get ready for my first shift, I had picked up a radio without an aerial. This basically meant that no one in the control room could hear me and I was facing a potential doughnut offence from my colleagues for being an idiot! After establishing what had happened from both parties the man involved was arrested and taken into custody.

Back at the station at 2 o’clock in the morning, we were finishing up the paperwork from the domestic (which there was a lot of) when another call came over the radio. This time it was a report of someone who believed their house was being broken into. Off we went once more and at the scene used the spotlights on the car to see if anyone was around. Inside the house we found the informant, who happened to be a teenage boy and his younger brother. The pair had been staying in the house whilst their parents were away for the weekend and had become scared that someone was trying to get in. After an area search of the grounds and property, and a bit of reassurance, the boys were happy and we had done our jobs for the evening, so back to the station it was. My tiredness began to kick in around 5am, when things had begun to settle down for the morning and it was just a matter of completing paperwork.

My first shift was one of the most nerve-wracking things that I have ever done, yet it was so amazing at the same time. To have somebody rely on you in their time of need is very humbling, and I can’t wait to do it again.

For more information on becoming a Special see HERE