In a new feature, two of our new recruits will be publishing a weekly blog about their experiences In police training school. Follow their progress and find out what it’s like to join Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 2015…
Welcome to week 8 of our blog. We are halfway through our course! It has gone so quickly. For the next month, our groups have been split up with Doug’s group learning officer safety training and Jess’s group learning about witness interviewing.
Monday was our first day of officer safety training, we were introduced to the instructors and went through the rules of officer safety training. As much as they need it to be realistic we don’t want a load of injured officers! We also were stressed the importance of ensuring that every time we use force we need to ensure it is proportionate, justified and legal. Towards the end of the day we began using pressure points on each other and I found out I am really susceptible to them….
Tuesday began with a refresher on pressure points (ouch), moving on to using several different wristlocks and then ultimately combining them with takedowns and ground pins. For the afternoon we moved onto using our handcuffs and the various positions they can be used culminating in using all our skills learnt to successfully control and handcuff our colleagues. It was a fantastic day but we all felt very sore after!
Wednesday morning was taken up with further handcuffing practice, as it is an important part of our job we need to ensure we are doing it right and using the correct techniques to minimise any injury caused. In the afternoon we were introduced to the baton. This included the various methods of carrying the baton and the different strikes that could be used, we were all very tired after today- I slept like a baby!
Thursday was a big day for the majority of our group as we were learning about PAVA. PAVA is the incapacitant spray that officers carry to incapacitate violent subjects. We also had to experience it for ourselves! As I had already experienced it is a special I did not have to do it again, but the majority of our colleagues had a little drop put in the corner of their eye and they then had to handcuff a suspect. Safe to say no one liked it!!
This is the first day of two weeks of interview training! We started off with how to interview witnesses of crimes. This is when we needed to focus on trying to get best evidence from the witnesses, by using suitable interviewing techniques. It was vital that we planned properly for the interviews in order to get all the detail from our witnesses.
On Tuesday we did a group interview of an assault – each of us had a topic to question on, and at the end we had to write a statement from the witness’ point of view. This was quite challenging as there was a lot of information that we had to organize and pack in to our statements.
On Wednesday we got to conduct our own interviews with our classmates. They had watched a scenario on the computer, and then had to be interviewed by one of us. I think this went quite well considering it was our first interview conducted on our own!
On Thursday and Friday we started to look at how to interview suspects, which is quite different to witness interviews. These are a little more in depth and we also need to plan for ‘no comment’ interviews, or a prepared statement given by the suspects. This weekend, we have got to plan for our first suspect interview…