Things have changed yet again in Eastfordshire, I am no longer living the dream in an idyllic rural location. The bosses have decided that the way to win the hearts and minds of the public is to provide even less of a service by moving a majority of the officers in my district into the central urban station, which now means that two officers at most may cover the rural side of our division while the rest of the team cover the urban area mostly. The only plus side now is that most of the boundaries have been removed, so the urban officers cannot say “not my patch” and in turn respond, if anything major was happening most officers were willing to pitch in, however it was felt to be a onesided contribution more often that not.
So now the rural members of public can look forward to having a single crewed officer or at best a double crewed response car in their area, never fear, the stations the Police Officers have been turfed out of are still open and that they are occupied by PCSO’s, their neighbourhood officer and if they are really lucky a sergeant too! This in turn means that they are missing out from having an additional 2-3 officers dedicated to their specific area, the PCSO’S and Neighbourhood Officer have a lot more work on their plates and a larger distance to cover should a real emergency happen.
I am now more than two years in, which means I have had to fill in a development portfolio evidencing my competencies. This report is filled in by myself and covers important areas such as diversity and ensuring that I recognise key developmental areas. In turn depending what evidence and examples I have used, the sergeant responsible for me at the time has to check this report over and add any further comments. Based upon this report I will be “confirmed” which will mean that any cock ups I now make fall squarely on my shoulders and cannot be excused with being probationers, but also means that I will see a pay increment, which will mean that I will be able to afford the extra petrol required to travel to my new station. As with everything in the Police selection and promotion process, this does not necessarily mean I can or cannot do the job, it just means that if it is written in the right way and agreed with by my sergeant. I am informed that this is my most important development review I will complete and that it will somehow contribute to whether I succeed in any specialisms, I am doubtful of this, it will help in certain way, if it is written well it will mean the person completing it is good at wording things a certain way and spout all the key words and tick the right indicators and it falls down as most specialist positions require knowing the right people and fitting in.
I somehow don’t think getting a job car stuck in mud down a country lane counts as a positive indicator!