A Day In The Life – Parading at Tally Ho! Training Centre, Birmingham, Thursday May 26th 2011, Tour of Duty – 08:30 to 15:30
Today has been the fourth of a five day ‘Post Foundation’ course during which we return to police academy and receive further training on various legal and practical areas.
Previous courses have involved topics such as advanced searching, traffic law legislation and have gone into depth about suspect interviewing. This current course is focused entirely on sexual offences and public protection issues.
Whilst I do have to travel into the centre of Brum to reach Tally Ho! – the former home of our mounted division – the half eight starts means that relative to a normal early shift I get to enjoy a little lie in which is a great way to start any day.
Lie in complete, I then blend in amongst the other commuters on the train into New Street before hopping onto a bus which takes me to the training centre itself on the Pershore Road.
I catch up with my classmates in the canteen and see that they already have their heads studiously buried in their books revising what we covered the previous day. I try not to distract them too much before heading up to the classroom where we take our seats and the trainer goes over the plan for the day.
Some of the areas that we cover are not particularly pleasant but even so, the legislation is very interesting and I think it’s important that we know it well so that we’ll be in the strongest possible position to deal with rapes and sexual assaults as and when they are reported to us.
We start off watching a documentary about how officers arrange sting operations to catch pedophiles using the internet to groom children and then after a short mid-morning break, return to the classroom where I participate in a group task presenting to the rest of the class what the ‘points to prove’ are for the offence of engaging in sexual activity with a child.
Following lunch we discuss with the trainer some of the methods we have at our disposal for involving partner agencies (Social Services etc) in cases where we are dealing with vulnerable or intimidated victims and then are given some time to go and study the Sexual Offences Act so that we are familiar with it in time for the exam tomorrow.
Having got my head around the main offences that we’ll likely be questioned on, we’re stood down and a few of us head back into town bypassing the train station in favour on hitting a little-known doughnut merchant in Selfridges. They’re very police friendly and to be honest, I think half the customers in there were officers as we do love our doughnuts! I gobble down a doughnut or two before heading back to New Street and catching the train home.
An evening revising from a police textbook awaited me, although I’m sure the little bag of doughnuts that had followed me home will help provide a little extra ‘motivation’ for me to study!