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Life in the PSNI?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭ TheCub


    Hi Folks,

    For those serving officers currently in the PSNI, what's life really like both in work and outside of work?

    How do you manage family life while balancing the role as a police officer?

    What's the organisation like to work?


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Comments



  • Its only been a year and a half in the job for me, I'm sure others can offer more experiences. But for me its been largely positive, and I'll admit i love the job.

    In work
    In the station I find that you make friends quite quickly. My section has been incredibly supportive and helpful. You end up spending more time with these people than you do your actual family and friends outside of work, of course there will be one or two you don't like/see eye to eye with, but thats just life! I find that the work day flies in, our area is very busy, and the work varies quite nicely. One minute you're at a petty theft, the next you're flying off down the road, blue and twos on, heading for an assault in progress. Its easy to be overwhelmed at first but you get used to it and people will support and help you.

    You'll find very quickly that you have to be confident in this job, even if you're not, at least look like you are! I still have my up and down days, sometimes i drive home wondering what the hell I'm doing in the job cause i haven't a clue what I'm doing, other days i drive home feeling like i've had the best day yet!

    Theres also a lot of banter in the section, you'll be the butt of some jokes and the creator of others. (helpful hint, try not to get pooped on by seagulls!)

    Outside work
    Outside work I honestly find myself very tired and prefer to just sit around all day. I have to force myself to get up and head out with my girlfriend and son, otherwise I never get to spend quality time with them. The job is physically and mentally draining, and you just have to learn to balance it all out. Recently I've found it much easier to balance family and work life so that when i do get rest days I make the most of them. Hotel GV will try to teach you to be on edge off duty, look out for baddies coming after you etc. In reality its not all that bad. Obviously you need to be smart and be vigilant but i've heard some people making it out to be a lot worse than it is.

    It terms of working for the organisation, well I don't really feel qualified to comment there as its only been a short space of time for me. So far its been good, they have been supportive and i couldn't really ask for anything more.

    Each person is different and will have individual needs, questions and concerns. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask, I'm sure we're more than happy to help where we can!




  • Thanks for this maj; always good to get a real officer"s take on things.

    Great thread Cub!




  • majgreen wrote: »
    Its only been a year and a half in the job for me, I'm sure others can offer more experiences. But for me its been largely positive, and I'll admit i love the job.

    In work
    In the station I find that you make friends quite quickly. My section has been incredibly supportive and helpful. You end up spending more time with these people than you do your actual family and friends outside of work, of course there will be one or two you don't like/see eye to eye with, but thats just life! I find that the work day flies in, our area is very busy, and the work varies quite nicely. One minute you're at a petty theft, the next you're flying off down the road, blue and twos on, heading for an assault in progress. Its easy to be overwhelmed at first but you get used to it and people will support and help you.

    You'll find very quickly that you have to be confident in this job, even if you're not, at least look like you are! I still have my up and down days, sometimes i drive home wondering what the hell I'm doing in the job cause i haven't a clue what I'm doing, other days i drive home feeling like i've had the best day yet!

    Theres also a lot of banter in the section, you'll be the butt of some jokes and the creator of others. (helpful hint, try not to get pooped on by seagulls!)

    Outside work
    Outside work I honestly find myself very tired and prefer to just sit around all day. I have to force myself to get up and head out with my girlfriend and son, otherwise I never get to spend quality time with them. The job is physically and mentally draining, and you just have to learn to balance it all out. Recently I've found it much easier to balance family and work life so that when i do get rest days I make the most of them. Hotel GV will try to teach you to be on edge off duty, look out for baddies coming after you etc. In reality its not all that bad. Obviously you need to be smart and be vigilant but i've heard some people making it out to be a lot worse than it is.

    It terms of working for the organisation, well I don't really feel qualified to comment there as its only been a short space of time for me. So far its been good, they have been supportive and i couldn't really ask for anything more.

    Each person is different and will have individual needs, questions and concerns. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask, I'm sure we're more than happy to help where we can!

    Thanks taking the time to write that. As Homer said its really good to hear from someone on the inside.

    I'm just curious as to how officers deal with the work life balance. Obviously each candidate knows it's unsocial hours, shifts which could change at any minute, potentially dangerous conditions etc but getting a view of the reality is always helpful.

    How do you find the shift work? Moving from earlies to lates then to nights, is it possible to lead a realitivly normal life when working on some of those shift patterns?




  • I'm always happy to try and help! I know when I was in your position I had tonnes of questions!

    My biggest struggle is coming off night shifts. Provided you don't have overtime then you get 3 rest days after a set of nights (well, on my shift rotation anyway!). Problem is your first rest day is wasted because you either sleep it away, or stay awake and be incredibly grouchy (my preferred approach!). Afterwards though you get to enjoy two days off.

    Earlies and lates are easy to deal with for me. I hate early mornings but I'm home in time for dinner so get a good evening in with the family, and well on lates I get to sleep in until late morning and I'm well in bed by 11pm so win win!

    In regards to working in dangerous conditions, sometimes you only realise how dangerous something was after you're done with your shift and sat at home thinking about it. You get caught up in the job and the moment and your training takes over. Before you know it you've dealt with the danger/problem and it's over in the blink of an eye.

    My biggest problem when I started was actually turning off the emotions. Trying not to get attached to people/incidents and spending all my down time thinking about it. Took a good few months for that to stop for me.

    You get used to the job quickly though, it's funny how normal it becomes. Last minute overtime is just one of those things, some love it, some hate it. But I genuinely wouldn't change my job for anything. I love it, every aspect of it, which is something you won't hear much. I've saved lives, I've solved crimes, I've been the person to lock away some nasty people, but I've also been the person that's had to stand there and not give someone the answer they wanted. You take the good with the bad and for me, the good outweighs the bad.




  • Thank you soooo much for the insight into the job!


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  • To me it sounds like a fantastic career despite the undesirables. The hope of being able to make a difference in the community the way police do is the main reason I applied.

    Has anyone else saw PSNI Craigavons Facebook page? Asides from being a barel of laughs their doing a four day AM shift diary, well worth a read!




  • Great insight majgreen, thanks for taking the time to write that. I can imagine at times it would be difficult to detach yourself from any given situation but as you said that's when the training takes over.




  • Since when did we discuss shift patterns in public? I appreciate thats your shift pattern but I wouldn't like people knowing what time i will be in bed and how many days il be off for after I finish nights!




  • Since when did we discuss shift patterns in public? I appreciate thats your shift pattern but I wouldn't like people knowing what time i will be in bed and how many days il be off for after I finish nights!

    There is nothing specific in my post, no dates, no times etc. I appreciate your concern however, its hardly a secret.




  • Since when did we discuss shift patterns in public? I appreciate thats your shift pattern but I wouldn't like people knowing what time i will be in bed and how many days il be off for after I finish nights!

    Ive seen more information given from some of the PSNI social media accounts.

    I very much appreciate any officer taking the time to come back here and offer assistance.
    Would love to hear how you're finding it :)


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  • How is there nothing specific? You have clearly stated that you are off for x days after your nights and that you will be grouchy all day. ????????
    PSNI don't advertise what working times will be do they? and if a mop phones in they are hardly told which time you will be back in, are they? So whilst I appreciate that you haven't given any specific dates/ times you are still disclosing information on an open and public forum that I'm sure the majority of your colleagues would rather you didn't.




  • So do you find the shift work easy to manage then? Must've been a struggle to get used to it.




  • Homer01, can't comment on the social media as i don't follow it but re the shift work, its ok, it could be better! For about 6months I found myself staying in bed longer than I needed, which obviously meant that I had less time for stuff I needed to do. After a while though you will get the hang of it and you soon realise that you have a decent mix of time off! The job itself is great, If you find yourself in a good section then you really are on to a good thing! The biggest issue is paperwork, duplication and forms for forms!!!!! :( Fingers crossed in the future that can be sorted meaning more time out and about and doing the job!! What stage are you at now?




  • Thanks GG, really cool once again to get info from a serving officer. Is there gym time available at the station or how does that work?




  • What's the reaction of NI officers to those from the Republic? Good/ bad/ indifferent. ( was going to say ugly but that would have been too much :))




  • Homer01, can't comment on the social media as i don't follow it but re the shift work, its ok, it could be better! For about 6months I found myself staying in bed longer than I needed, which obviously meant that I had less time for stuff I needed to do. After a while though you will get the hang of it and you soon realise that you have a decent mix of time off! The job itself is great, If you find yourself in a good section then you really are on to a good thing! The biggest issue is paperwork, duplication and forms for forms!!!!! :( Fingers crossed in the future that can be sorted meaning more time out and about and doing the job!! What stage are you at now?

    Thanks GG :)
    I'm currently 9-5, Monday to Friday so imagine shifts of all kinds will be 'different' to say the least. I suppose if it was easy everyone would do it lol.

    Just about start online learning and awaiting PCA date.




  • blueboat wrote: »
    Thanks GG, really cool once again to get info from a serving officer. Is there gym time available at the station or how does that work?

    Gyms are available however its up to you to factor time in for it




  • My station has a good gym, which is open 24hours so you can use it before or after shifts! think most of the ones I have been to have one, but all have varying standards!

    There loads of people from the Republic in the job, So if you mean will you be treated any differently, def not, you will get an equal amount slagging!!




  • Plenty from ROI currently in GV. You'll fit right in.




  • Whats annual leave and holidays like? Is it fairly easy to get time booked off or does it depend on operational needs?


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  • It's not overly hard. Based on operational need and numbers within your section. There's certain times of year it's harder than others




  • Same as most companies then. How many days annual leave do you get majgreen?




  • It's a set number of hours, increases with your service. You can also turn overtime worked into hours of leave which is handy.




  • Do probation constables have to wear coloured flashings out on the street when posted to their first station?

    Will you be firearm trained within then 22 weeks in Garnaville or is that part of the additional training after college? Do new recruits get PPW's?




  • TheCub wrote: »
    Do probation constables have to wear coloured flashings out on the street when posted to their first station?

    Will you be firearm trained within then 22 weeks in Garnaville or is that part of the additional training after college? Do new recruits get PPW's?

    I'm pretty sure the answer is no, think so and yes.
    I think the firearms training happens either at the end of GV or just after.




  • You are trained in the use of a firearm throughout GV and are issued your PPW upon graduation. Once you graduate, should your district require it, you may request training for the H&K G36 although this isn't routinely carried in response.

    On the street a probationer Constable will be completely unrecognisable from a senior Constable. Uniforms are exactly the same.




  • Will you be automatically be put forward for the various additional training available for things like using the red key, H&K etc or does it have to be requested personally?




  • Some things you get volunteered for, others you have to apply for. Some courses will have large waiting lists, so you may not get what you want straight away. It all depends on requirements of your district and your section




  • Long arms are personal choice but you need to wait until a date comes up for training on them, recruits don't get ppws unless there is a need for them like specific threat you don't get your PPW till your passing out parade.


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  • TheCub wrote: »
    Will you be automatically be put forward for the various additional training available for things like using the red key, H&K etc or does it have to be requested personally?

    When you first meet your ops planners, bring them buns. :P


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