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Week 2

September 14th 2013 | Persephone Bell

After surviving our first week, the real challenges, both physical and mental, started this Monday.

The first and perhaps most pressing challenge – no Guernsey jokes. The Guernsey students arrived first thing Monday morning, and despite the inevitable inter-island banter our shared excitement, nervousness and lack of knowledge ensured that we quickly became just one big group of people well and truly out of their comfort zone.

Aside from a few classroom based lessons, this week has been full of practicable, outdoor activities including Conquaesitus, radio training, fitness sessions and role plays.

Reviewing our timetable at the beginning of the week, absolutely everyone was puzzled at the 4 hour “Conquaesitus” that was scheduled to take over our Tuesday morning. Latin for something or other that none of us could find on google, (or as I should say duckduckgo), we found ourselves divided into teams, blindfolded in a police van, purposely disorientated with Scottish anthems and left with a checklist of items to collect and a deadline to be back at Police Headquarters from various spots around the island.

Our goal – to collect as many of the items as possible, be ready for any new challenges sent to us en route and make it back from either Bouley Bay, Gorey or Hamptonne as soon as possible with no money and no public transport allowed. Searching for Parish boundary stones and Ormer shells, group photographs with postmen and learning national anthems were just a few of the items on the list.  The one thing that none of us as new probationers suffer from is a lack of competitiveness - the competition was on. Somehow we all made it back in time, with no injuries, no public order incidents and no cheating.  The winner, unbelievably for the rest of us, was Team SOS and their prize, as ever, Staff Cross’ fabulous blue pens.

Fitness. Scheduled to last for two and a half hours – a daunting prospect for most of us! Our instructors had been tasked with getting us fit and they did not break us in gently – altogether 1 hour 45 minutes of running (not jogging at a slow pace, genuine running), sprints uphill and shuttle runs. It was decided to make us run on sand so as to reflect the impact that running with our equipment and in our uniform will have on our running capabilities. Anyone who has ever run over St. Ouen’s sand dunes will know, tough is barely an adequate description. Perhaps apart from the Gazelle-like James, Mark and Will, we all have quite a way to go.

All week we had been looking forward to our first role play session to practice the Powers and Methods of Arrest. By the time we reached the location, being dressed up in full police gear, hats and all, we were all buzzing and keen to demonstrate all that we had learned. 

Paired up we were assigned by the “Control Room” a scenario to deal with, ranging from drunk and disorderly and warrants on arrest to suspicious individuals and robbery. Juggling our radios and pocket note books, reciting the caution, taking in the scene at hand and trying to maintain politeness and professionalism required some serious multi-tasking and team work. We did however prove ourselves and learnt that one probationer was secretly skilled in the art of hypnotism!

Our Thursday finished with the assurance that next week is when we really get hit with the full weight of the learning material – goodbye weekend…

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