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Week 15

December 10th 2013 | William Labey

Monday 9th December:

Our final week began with an input from the Jersey Women’s Refuge, regarding ‘Domestic Violence’. The input highlighted the fact that abusive relationships are based on the mistaken belief that one person has the right to control another. This doesn’t necessarily only mean physical violence as DV also encompasses psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

Tuesday 10th December:

This morning we had our final Police HQ Inspection as Student Officers. We all put a lot of effort into ironing our shirts and trousers, shining our shoes and checking each other for any fluff. This extra effort was rewarded with some complimentary comments from Inspector Coxshall who was very impressed with the improvement in our appearance.

The rest of the day was fairly intense as we had our sexual offences and offender management unit lessons. It was made clear throughout the day the sensitivity of the subject. The training staff highlighted a scale which offenders are likely to climb relating to sexual offences, escalating in severity over a period of time unless they are caught and monitored from an early stage.

Wednesday 11th December:

‘D Day’ has arrived! Anxiety got the better of most of us last night as a fair amount of sleep was lost in nervous anticipation for our final exam and fitness test.
We began the morning faced with 60 questions that would decide our fate as to whether we had passed or failed our 15-week training period. It was by far the hardest exam to date and once it was over we were instructed to make our way up to Fort Regent where the bleep test was next on the agenda.

On arrival at the Fort, Sergeant Beechey informed us we had all passed the final exam. The relief around the sports hall was clear for anyone to see. The emotion got the better of one or two of us and I recall Mark giving me one of the hardest hugs I have ever had when he embraced me on hearing the news! We were given the chance to go around the room congratulating one another before turning our attention to the next challenge.

I think I speak for everyone when saying the mental pressure of the exam, along with the interrupted sleep the night before had exhausted us all prior to the fitness test. However, we were all aware that both the male and female fitness awards were up for grabs and everyone of us wanted to give it their all.

Persephone won the female race to deny Mel with an impressive performance reaching level 11. The male race ended up being fought out by James and myself as we pushed each other as far as our bodies would allow. I only just managed to edge out James as everyone spurred us on beyond level 13 in a hard fought contest.

This afternoon we had Drill with Sergeant Hayden where we went through a couple of ‘Pass Out’ practices ahead of Saturday. It was during this rehearsal that we found out who had won the foundation course awards. We knew from earlier on in the day that Persephone and myself had won the female and male fitness trophies respectively. The Mike Watson Shield for the most improved student was to be awarded to Fran, the Jersey Trainers award was to be jointly awarded to Mark and Claudia, the Chief Officers Baton for the best turned out student was to be awarded to Sam and the Joint Outstanding Award for the highest overall exam average of 85% went to Persephone, who edged out Josef by 1%!!

This evening we had a chance to relax and enjoy our ‘Dining Out’ evening that included a champagne reception, followed by a 4-course meal that Matt had arranged at the Ambassador Hotel. All 18-student officers took part in a Secret Santa where some great gifts were given and received including Imodium for a certain someone’s uncontrollable flatulence, two little fish which almost got thrown away by the employees on reception, but have since be named Helier and Flip and a no holes barred 2014 calendar where a certain Mr. December steals the show!

During the evening we watched a slide show that Lauren had prepared, which showed over 500 photos that took us on a journey back through our 15 weeks of training. The training staff had also prepared their own spoof awards for each student, which also made for some great banter between us all.

Later on in the night once the training staff had decided enough was enough, DJ Sheriff was unleashed to dictate the tunes for the evening. Unfortunately he didn’t arrive on the decks early enough for us to get the chance to see any of the training staff in action on the ‘D’ floor. However, seeing a certain Mr. Dicker playing the part of a wrecking ball was more than enough entertainment for us all!

Thursday 12th December:

Last night was a late one for us all and although we were given an extra hour in bed, it was basically business as usual this morning as we were back in the classroom at 9am for an input from FIB ,with DCI Beechey and DC Bob Malet De Carteret. The input informed us of the significance of information gained which can contribute towards intelligence for the force. I speak for everyone when I say that DC Malet De Carteret was both a very intelligent and entertaining man who had us all in stitches throughout the input.

Thursday afternoon consisted of a Mortuary Visit at St. Helier General Hospital where we got an insight into the mortuary procedure and the Polices involvement with family members of the deceased.

This evening the male student officers, bar a couple of chickens, went to Highlands College to take part in a charity waxing evening in aid of Breast Cancer. We had a choice of body parts to get waxed with some opting for their backs and others for their legs. I have to say some of the guys can pull the waxed legs look off, however, with my chicken legs I am certainly not one of them!

Friday 13th December:

This morning we were officially sworn in as Police Constables in the Royal Court. We marched as a squad along a short stretch of King Street and into the Royal Square before being halted in front of the main entrance to the Courts. On entering the Royal Court we walked past the gallery where our proud family members were sat. All 12 Jersey Officers stood before Royal Court Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith and were sworn in together. On exiting the Court we had numerous photos taken of us as a squad, one of which found its way into the JEP!

Along with our Guernsey colleagues and training team we all met back at The Savoy Hotel for tea and coffee, where our families were able to observer States of Jersey Police Chief Officer Mr. Mike Bowron QPM present us with our newly acquired Warrant Cards.

Friday afternoon felt like the last day of school before the Christmas holidays. We enjoyed a Christmas quiz where it was apparent for me at least, that over the last 15 weeks all my attention and learning has been focused on the training course and thus my Christmas trivia left a lot to be desired!!

Saturday 14th December:

States of Jersey Police & Guernsey Police Foundation Course Pass Out Parade:

Finally the day had come for us to celebrate all the hard work we had put in over the past 15 weeks. The event was also a great opportunity for our friends and family to celebrate with us, as they have all had to sacrifice a lot during our training period too.

It was a very humbling experience to be marched into the TA courtyard by Sergeant Hayden as we followed the ‘The Band of the Island of Jersey’. We went through the drill routine we had practiced countless times without error and I can honestly say Sergeant Hayden can be proud of all the hard work both he and his squad put in, in preparation for today.

The Inspecting Officer, His Excellency General Sir John McColl KCB CBE DSO was accompanied by the States of Jersey Police Chief Officer Mr. Mike Bowron QPM and Guernsey Police Chief Officer Mr. Patrick Rice as we were inspected. His Excellency then presented the Foundation Course Awards and gave a speech wishing us luck in our future careers.

On being dismissed to our duties we had the opportunity to have photographs taken with friends and family, followed by a buffet style reception in the TA gymnasium, thanks to The Inn catering.

I would just like to say a special thank you to the training team for the great support they have given us over the past few months. Without your help and support it would have been impossible for us to achieve what we have done and I hope you were as proud as we were during both our ‘Swearing In’ and ‘Passing Out Parade’.

From the beginning of January we will now continue our training, by working under the supervision of two specialist tutors over a 10-week tutorship period with our respective shifts.

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