Monday 25 February 11:33
So, I’d just thought I’d give you a bit of an update on my new role - if you read my last blog, you’ll know that I’ve been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to ‘act’ up at the next rank of Inspector for a month.
Well needless to say, I was a bit nervous that first morning - the alarm went off at 4. 30am -( you really should only be getting up at that time on a dark February morning to fly off on holiday ) anyway, my breakfast went a little untouched and I was into the office just after 6am, my shift started at 7am so I really didn’t need to be in that early, but there’s nothing like being prepared.
So I’ve got the pips on my shoulder and I’ve been updated on events overnight that may impact on my team this morning - and then I’m on my own, as night turn go home and it’s all quiet in my office up at Battle. And then it dawns on me - I’m the Inspector, in charge of the East Sussex Response team for the next 9 hours - that’s from Rye to edge of Brighton, from the coast to the Surrey border. We do work in pairs and my ‘partner’ is only over at Lewes, and he was coming over to join me, but nevertheless it was a little daunting, as you can imagine.
Twenty minutes, and one strong coffee later, I got a call from Hastings custody block - part of my new role is to review the detention of people in custody - is the investigation progressing, do they need to remain in our cells while we gather our evidence, are they aware of their right to a solicitor and are they being looked after properly - so, deep breath, and off I go - I get an update on the investigation and then speak to the detainee - they’re fine, and wondering when breakfast will around. So, no problems there.
My next focus was the daily review of the last 24 hours crimes and events on the division - all divisions in Sussex do this, it helps us identify any emerging crime trends, or repeat locations, so that we can look to get our resources in the right areas, at the right time. This meeting is chaired by a senior officer, a Superintendent or Chief Inspector, and there are representatives from all the districts, from CID and other specialist teams, so I make sure I’m well prepared, I don’t want to make a mess of it on my first day, now do I ?
It all goes well, and I get some good feedback from one of the senior officers afterwards - which is re-assuring and I can relax a little.
One of the other parts of the role is to review the calls we get regarding missing people - to assess the risks, and decide how we are going to deal with the report - are they ‘missing’ or just not where they are supposed to be ? It may sound like splitting hairs but it is an important distinction, and helps us focus on the right reports - but that’s a piece for a different time. So I spend some of the morning looking at these.
The shift flew past, and it wasn’t long before I was handing over to lates - it was a good first day. During the rest of that first week, I authorised searches in connection with prisoners in the cells, I gave authority for the collection of forensic samples and I oversaw the management of incidents - it was nice to know that the report of a man with a shotgun was actually a man with an air pistol !
One of the things I love about my job, whatever the rank, is the unpredictability of it all, you never know what’s around the corner - sometimes quite literally, so here’s to tomorrow, and I’ll give you another update soon,
Acting Inspector Batcheler.
Thursday 17 January 01:59
Here's to 2013
Back in October, I took the promotion exam to move up to the rank of Inspector, and thankfully, after a number of months studying, I passed. What happens next, at some point, is an interview board - there’s no date for one yet, and as there’s not been a promotion board for the rank of Inspector for the last couple of years, there are a lot of other Sergeants in the same boat as myself.
I have been fortunate enough to have just been given the opportunity to take up the rank of Inspector, to cover for a colleague for a month. I will have the rank and the responsibilities of an Inspector, and wear the pips on my shoulders.
I’m going to be an Acting Inspector on the East Sussex Response team, so in the same role as I am now but at a higher rank. So I’ll be one of two Inspectors responsible for a shift of officers covering the division. There are 5 shifts covering 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There are some policing activities than can only be authorised by an officer holding the rank of Inspector - certain searches, warrants and various aspects of detention and custody, all of which I have studied but which I’ll now get a chance to put into practice. I am going to be managing and, in some cases, directing our policing response to incidents, and keeping a watchful eye on the reports of people that have gone missing - and have spent a few days sat with my own Inspector, you may be surprised at how many do get reported to us.
It’s going to be a challenge but one that I am really looking forward to - so I’ll let you know how I get on….
Thursday 27 December 15:11
Merry Christmas ?
Christmas is a strange time of year to be a Police officer.
People are spending time with family, enjoying themselves, and realxing ( or not as the case may be) but for us it’s business as usual.
We don’t often meet people on one of their best days - whether they’ve been a victim of crime, they are a suspect for a crime or whether they’ve been involved in accident, but this is even more the case over Christmas when its supposed to be a happy time, after all that build up, it’s often a time when the daily stresses are magnified - those family niggles, the money worries - and that’s where we come in ..
This year we’ve been to family rows, that, fuelled by alcohol, have turned violent, leaving people in hospital with injuries, and have seen kids miss out on the presents from Father Christmas because of arguments between adults, and teenagers so drunk that they’ve missed Christmas morning as they’ve woken in our cells rather than at home, due to their drunken stupidity the night before.
Bad things happen to good people all year round, and again this time of year makes everything more poignant.
And whilst my heart goes out to families of those involved in the tragic crash on the M6, I know that those Police officers, firemen and ambulance staff will have gone home and hugged their families that bit harder at the end of their shift.
I’ve been the officer stood on the doorstep on Christmas day to deliver the message that a loved one has passed away, knowing that I’m ruining that Christmas and knowing, when I leave, that their Christmas’s will never be the same again.
My team, many of whom have children, would, I’m sure, have rather spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with family, but instead, they were here with me, all with a smile and all with a sense of humour - policing your area, keeping you safe - as I said, business as usual
All posts >
Wednesday 12 December 11:18
My first blog for Sussex Police People
On 13th December this year, I will have been a part of Sussex Police for 19 years.
Today, I’m a sergeant responsible for a team of response officers in Hastings - back in 1993, I was a probationer in Hastings, guess I haven’t moved much, have I ?
I have done quite a bit in the years in between, but I’ve never moved far from my home town - I’ve been part of major crime enquiries, neighbourhood policing, and been a custody sergeant but I’m now part of what most people see of the police, a response officer. This means I’m part of the uniformed team that turn up when you call for police, the ones that you see driving around with the blue lights and sirens on attending emergency calls.
I work shifts - winter night shifts are never joyful, and neither is the alarm going off at 4.45 am for an early turn, at any time of the year. I work weekends, bank holidays, and I bet you can’t guess what I’m doing over Christmas - yep, working. It’s not a job that’s easy to balance with a home life !
My work day is never predictable, it’s never the same day twice. Like all public services these days, I have a finite number of resources to send out there to deal with whatever you send our way, and sometimes thats the toughest part of my day, making sure we give the best service we can to those that need it - the victims of crime, the vulnerable, the young, the elderly, but I know we don’t always come up to the mark but please believe me when I say we do try.
Nineteen years ago, many things were different but the enthusiasm of the officers is still the same. I feel very lucky to say that I love my work, and I hope thats one things that you’ll pick up from my blogs - it’s a tough job but a rewarding one.