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Despite current challenges in policing it still remains a fantastic career. Some of the reasons why are as follows;
- A great team spirit. There is still fantastic humour and banter amongst colleagues who remain close friends for life.
- The variety of roles is like no other career. For example during my career I was a Response Officer, a tutor Constable, a Beat Officer, a Detective Sergeant, Detective Inspector overseeing complex crime and covert tactics. I progressed to Chief Inspector, Superintendent, Chief Superintendent before becoming assistant Chief Constable and retiring as a Deputy Chief Constable. There are so many other roles such as traffic officer, police dog handler, special branch, surveillance officer, working in child protection or investigating fraud or cyber crime.
- Everyday is different. Despite having plans for your day it is highly likely that a murder, serious traffic accident, major incident, drugs raid or other requirement will redirect your day.
- Opportunities for new learning and development are available.
- Critical decisions need to be made at all levels often without time to plan or think. One of the great things in policing is that Police Constables have far reaching powers such as the power to arrest, the power to stop and detain individuals and the power to close pubs and clubs down if need be. Police Constables have discretion as to whether to fully enforce the law or not.
I am sure that there are many other reasons too, such as a good salary, a stable career and a good pension.
Of course with any job there are disadvantages, some of these are:
- Shift work doesn’t suit everyone. Early starts and working nights affects your diet and sometimes your health and well being.
- There will be times when you’re working excessive hours and working on your days off in time of need (such as recent terror attacks).
- Often on call which restricts your private life.
- Always on duty even if you are off duty! You are expected to act positively if you see the law being broken or someone at risk of coming to harm.
- Patrolling alone more and more due to financial pressures.
- Risk of injury in enforcing the law. Not everyone likes the Police and you will encounter difficult and dangerous situations.
It is up to you to decide whether you think that the pro’s outweigh the con’s!! Go on … why do you want to join the police?