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2 years in the job

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 33 ✭✭✭ tino77


    Hi All,

    Going through the application process I found this forum very useful. It seems that once in people tend not to bother with it which is understandable but a shame.

    Please feel free to ask me anything about GV and the job itself and I'll answer as best I can without compromising security or anything. Aware there has been big changes since I went through but happy to help as best i can.



    Cheers.


«1

Comments



  • District allocation, how. Likely are you to get one of your choices?




  • What is Hotel GV like? I don’t know why but in my head I had imagined a layout like the first scene from ‘Full Metal Jacket’, lines of bunk beds and foot lockers.

    Without giving too much away, what is the regime like in GV, do they have fitness classes or are you required to keep your fitness up yourself?

    When in the job how do you find the paperwork? I’m assuming there is some sort of a portfolio for probationers to complete, if so was it difficult? (I suppose that answer would be subjective)




  • Banterbus: it all depends where is needing most people. What I would advise is trying to be realistic with your choices and think where there'll be most demand and maybe put a couple of choices slightly further afield but still commutable. Now is better as you find out when you start so plenty of time to plan in any case.

    Goonerdee: never seen full metal jacket so can't compare I'm afraid! It is tough going a lot to learn and take in. Simple advice is really to just do your best and keep on top of things. Everyone with you is in the same boat and help others when you can and don't be afraid to ask for help from others when you need it. Above all though try and not get too stressed, looking back I wish I'd been a bit more chilled out about the whole thing. Really very few folk don't get through from failing stuff tends to be doing stupid things!

    Fitness wise when I was there there was a pe class most weeks and you had 3 sessions to do. It's tough enough like but again just do your best and nobody can decry you for that!

    In terms of paperwork yeah there is a fair chunk of it. But after a while it's as much knowing what has to be done in certain situations eg domestics. Again out in section people will help you so nothing to worry about.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers




  • Do you think being based in certain districts will give you an advantage when applying for specialist roles?




  • Hi Nik,

    No, I can't think of any reason why that would be the case. You do touch on an interesting point however.

    Applying for other roles is a long, long way off. Most folk are in response for 5,6,7 years before they move on elsewhere. There is an application process for each role.

    I guess what I am saying in a roundabout way is don't have a misconception that it is a case of simply doing your two years probation and then deciding what you want to do.

    My advice is to see what parts of the job you enjoy/don't enjoy and then when other roles come up consider them on a case by case basis.

    But as I say, all a long way off!

    Cheers


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  • Hi Nik,

    No, I can't think of any reason why that would be the case. You do touch on an interesting point however.

    Applying for other roles is a long, long way off. Most folk are in response for 5,6,7 years before they move on elsewhere. There is an application process for each role.

    I guess what I am saying in a roundabout way is don't have a misconception that it is a case of simply doing your two years probation and then deciding what you want to do.

    My advice is to see what parts of the job you enjoy/don't enjoy and then when other roles come up consider them on a case by case basis.

    But as I say, all a long way off!

    Cheers




  • tino77 wrote: »
    Hi Nik,

    No, I can't think of any reason why that would be the case. You do touch on an interesting point however.

    Applying for other roles is a long, long way off. Most folk are in response for 5,6,7 years before they move on elsewhere. There is an application process for each role.

    I guess what I am saying in a roundabout way is don't have a misconception that it is a case of simply doing your two years probation and then deciding what you want to do.

    My advice is to see what parts of the job you enjoy/don't enjoy and then when other roles come up consider them on a case by case basis.

    But as I say, all a long way off!

    Cheers

    Yea I totally get that. Was just asking as I have 2 friends in city districts been in over 5 years and work response. But another friend based rural has only just finished probation and has had their commitment year waivered and is now training in a specialist role.
    They have said the same as you that they dont think district matters, was just looking to see your opinion on the matter. Thanks.




  • I have a few queries.

    Pay. Are you on pay point 1 for the duration of probation?

    Leave. I have heard of people doing it but can you as a probationer build up TOIL and save leave to be used in one large block?

    Overtime. If you are in a station where overtime is not readily available is overtime available in other stations in district?

    Perks. Is newforge insurance etc a good deal or a gimmick?

    Training vs reality. How did you find your training compared to the reality. I.e. First feeling that true hatred for the uniform and did GV prepare for the horrible aspects of the job?

    Support. Is there adequate provision for support reference mental health for yourself and colleagues? Due to the horrible things you will see?

    How is further training? G36, driving, Terrorism, interviewing etc

    How is the work/life balance?




  • Thanks for doing this tino. What are the most common complaints lodged against officers? What's the process after a complaint has been made and the usual consequences?




  • Pay: No, it's until your 2 years from when you start in GV

    Leave: Yeah I don't see why not. The system for when/how you use leave is the same for everyone after GV

    Overtime: Not in the district I work in anyway though that's not to say it doesn't happen elsewhere

    Perks: Short answer is I don't know, really should look into it!

    Training v Reality: I have to say the standard of the training is really good and covers everything but as the old cliche goes you learn more by doing and you learn way more out on the ground.

    In terms of preparing you for the hostility in my view it's a wee bit exaggerated as if you speak to people right the vast majority are ok with you. Though I guess they prepare you for worst case scenarios which doesn't do any harm!

    Support: Yeah there are the official channels to help with that side of things which are pretty good. Colleagues and supervisors are generally very good in this regard as well.

    Further training: Yeah there's plenty of further training available, just apply for the courses and you'll get on them.

    Work/Life balance: The big question! I'll start by saying I don't have kids so can't comment in relation to that topic.

    Generally I think it is ok but it's something you have to put the effort with. Make the most of time off, do things, see loved ones etc. also use leave wisely as well.

    On the flip side in busy times eg marching season you have to accept that you'll be off the map for a few days. Equally you'll have to accept that you will miss some special occasions and if you have something you go to say every Wednesday night that that's not gonna happen.

    Complaints: This is something that has been greatly reduced by body worn cameras and nonsense complaints (ie the majority) are kicked into touch very quickly.

    Tends to be things like excessive force but if you can justify your actions then you have nothing to worry about. Getting complaints is inevitable but all you can do is the right thing.

    Just to add that all the above is simply from my own experiences. Others may have different views but hope that gives some sort of insight.


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  • tino77 wrote: »
    Pay: No, it's until your 2 years from when you start in GV

    Leave: Yeah I don't see why not. The system for when/how you use leave is the same for everyone after GV

    Overtime: Not in the district I work in anyway though that's not to say it doesn't happen elsewhere

    Perks: Short answer is I don't know, really should look into it!

    Training v Reality: I have to say the standard of the training is really good and covers everything but as the old cliche goes you learn more by doing and you learn way more out on the ground.

    In terms of preparing you for the hostility in my view it's a wee bit exaggerated as if you speak to people right the vast majority are ok with you. Though I guess they prepare you for worst case scenarios which doesn't do any harm!

    Support: Yeah there are the official channels to help with that side of things which are pretty good. Colleagues and supervisors are generally very good in this regard as well.

    Further training: Yeah there's plenty of further training available, just apply for the courses and you'll get on them.

    Work/Life balance: The big question! I'll start by saying I don't have kids so can't comment in relation to that topic.

    Generally I think it is ok but it's something you have to put the effort with. Make the most of time off, do things, see loved ones etc. also use leave wisely as well.

    On the flip side in busy times eg marching season you have to accept that you'll be off the map for a few days. Equally you'll have to accept that you will miss some special occasions and if you have something you go to say every Wednesday night that that's not gonna happen.

    Complaints: This is something that has been greatly reduced by body worn cameras and nonsense complaints (ie the majority) are kicked into touch very quickly.

    Tends to be things like excessive force but if you can justify your actions then you have nothing to worry about. Getting complaints is inevitable but all you can do is the right thing.

    Just to add that all the above is simply from my own experiences. Others may have different views but hope that gives some sort of insight.
    Want to piggy back onto this to give my experiences...
    Perks - Newforge has some good deals going on, but you have to shop around still. I was told when in GV that they did amazing discounts for holidays yet still got myself a better deal through Expedia (saved over £500.). So, yes, they are worth a shout, but do your research first.
    Training - IMHO, GV was absolutely rubbish in comparison to the real world. I certainly didnt feel prepared enough, but the general concensus seems to be that thats normal. Obviously GV is very limited in what they can and cant do where-as the real world is what it is. GV gave me a good basic knowledge but for the first 6 months to a year of my probation I found myself feeling overwhelmed more often than not.
    Work/Life - this is going to differ depending on what officer you speak to. For me, with a wee one to look after, i struggle. Im at work more than im at home. Sometimes i can go days without seeing him for more than an hour, some days I barely see my missus. I work a decent amount of overtime, but even the quiet months I feel as though I mayaswell take a sleeping bag into the station! But as Tino says - its up to YOU to make the time and effort. When I do, i get a lot more use out of my time off and see my family more often.




  • But you are the wee man's hero and doing everything for him :)




  • I have a few queries.

    Pay. Are you on pay point 1 for the duration of probation?

    Leave. I have heard of people doing it but can you as a probationer build up TOIL and save leave to be used in one large block?

    Overtime. If you are in a station where overtime is not readily available is overtime available in other stations in district?

    Perks. Is newforge insurance etc a good deal or a gimmick?

    Training vs reality. How did you find your training compared to the reality. I.e. First feeling that true hatred for the uniform and did GV prepare for the horrible aspects of the job?

    Support. Is there adequate provision for support reference mental health for yourself and colleagues? Due to the horrible things you will see?

    How is further training? G36, driving, Terrorism, interviewing etc

    How is the work/life balance?

    I've been in seven years and thought I'd give you my two cents. I may be slightly more jaded than those with less service, but I still somewhat enjoy the job.

    - Pay

    To answer your question, no. More broadly, this job pays well. For new starts the starting pay is rubbish, but I'd rather get rubbish pay in NI than in London, where the starting pay is also rubbish.

    - Leave/TOIL

    Regulations say that TOIL should be used up before annual leave allowance, and it is treated in the same way as annual leave. In practice, you apply for the time off and select whether you want to use TOIL or leave. So, to answer your question, yes.

    - Overtime

    You can only work overtime in your own District. This may be different out in the sticks. Overtime is enforced and you are expected to work it even if you have other plans or commitments. This is a unique situation amongst UK police forces. The PSNI (at least some districts) run on overtime. It gets old very fast, even if the money is nice.

    - Perks

    Never used Newforge but the federation travel insurance scheme is good. You also get a federation discount card that works in about three crappy restaurants. Other than that, there are no perks.

    - Training

    GV is GV. It changes often. It does not prepare you for real police work. It's a decent enough police college, but training can only take you so far. The best advice is to understand that you don't know what you're doing when you go to District, ask a lot of questions and listen to other people.

    - Support

    Absolutely not. Support is woefully insufficient and you will be treated like a parish if (God forbid) you have to take sick leave. Being sick is unsatisfactory and you will be threatened with the sack if you breach some arbitrary number calculated by multiplying your sick days with the number of grains of sand on Portrush beach or something... Short answer; it's luck of the draw. If you're unlucky and have to deal with something horrific, don't expect much in the way of support from the job. I am speaking from experience here.

    - Training

    Driving course is excellent. Good firearms courses. There are plenty of other courses but there are waiting lists and you shouldn't expect much during probation.

    - Work/Life balance

    It's terrible. Enforced overtime + shifts = rarely seeing family and friends. This is unavoidable and it's part of the job in NI.

    Edit: Night Watchman, I got your PM but you have your settings set so you can't receive replies. If you change it and send me another PM I'll get back to you.




  • This is a question not necessarily directed to those in the job. What constitutes a district? And how many are there? Just thinking should I get that far and have to pick. What sort of radius would a district cover.




  • The PSNI website tells you the distrixts and where they cover.

    Belfast district is small on the map but then look at Strabane and Derry...




  • stm1 wrote: »
    This is a question not necessarily directed to those in the job. What constitutes a district? And how many are there? Just thinking should I get that far and have to pick. What sort of radius would a district cover.

    The new PSNI districts follow the new super council districts. Here is a link to a Google map of the districts.

    https://goo.gl/images/mReSDz




  • Question for yous that are in already.
    What made you choose the districts you applied for when first starting?
    Were you successful in getting one of the districts you choose?
    If not, what are the pros and cons of the district you were assigned to?




  • A mate that got in said that the best thing to do is oick every district you are reasonably happy with




  • A mate that got in said that the best thing to do is oick every district you are reasonably happy with

    I have 4 in mind, all of which are the same or less traveling than I do with my current work.
    I live on the border line between 2 districts, one of which I grew up in and still class as my home so wouldn't pick it.
    However if I choose the other district it would mean I could be placed in a station only 10mins from home. Great for the commute and I'm not known in that town but still very close to home.




  • NiK9 wrote: »
    Question for yous that are in already.
    What made you choose the districts you applied for when first starting?
    Were you successful in getting one of the districts you choose?
    If not, what are the pros and cons of the district you were assigned to?
    I got my third choice. It was a "i'll pick this because it saves me driving 45 mins to work every day". In all honesty, im glad i got that one. I've been busier than i could have ever imagined but the experience i've gained it incredible.


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  • Do they give any guidance to help you choose your distict? I live bang in the middle of one so would be well known in some parts of it but not others. Is it recommended to not choose the district you live In?




  • stm1 wrote: »
    Do they give any guidance to help you choose your distict? I live bang in the middle of one so would be well known in some parts of it but not others. Is it recommended to not choose the district you live In?
    Its best not to, the last thing you need is for people to know what you do for a living and where you live. Doesnt meant it doesnt happen and I know plenty of people that live within a few miles of their station




  • majgreen wrote: »
    stm1 wrote: »
    Do they give any guidance to help you choose your distict? I live bang in the middle of one so would be well known in some parts of it but not others. Is it recommended to not choose the district you live In?
    Its best not to, the last thing you need is for people to know what you do for a living and where you live. Doesnt meant it doesnt happen and I know plenty of people that live within a few miles of their station
    When choosing your district preferences do you get a say in your preferred station within that district ?




  • How many choices do you get? 3 or 4?




  • It's upto 4 choices and no, no choice of station.




  • If you have clear difficulty you can appeal your station, a friend of mine got the station that was doubling his commute to work, apleaked it and got a closee station




  • My question would be adjustment to the look under the car- no pattern lifestyle. What it was like at the start vs now once your settled so to speak.

    Going out for a night on the town? How does it differ.

    Other things we may not think about that the job puts up obstacles.

    Cheers




  • From a personal point of view easy enough, just becomes routine. For nights out to be honest not much has changed apart from maybe being more careful when talking about work. Obviously there's establishments that as a peeler you'd avoid but generally these places are best avoided anyway!




  • majgreen wrote: »
    stm1 wrote: »
    Do they give any guidance to help you choose your distict? I live bang in the middle of one so would be well known in some parts of it but not others. Is it recommended to not choose the district you live In?
    Its best not to, the last thing you need is for people to know what you do for a living and where you live. Doesnt meant it doesnt happen and I know plenty of people that live within a few miles of their station

    Thats my problem, I live nearish one of stations in my district, if I’m lucky to get that far I was going to put my district down in the hope Id get a station I dont live near, there’s not many places I’m well known.


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  • One of my mates lives less than 10mins from his station. But he didn't grow up in that district, he just moved there when he got the job. So he isnt known at all in the area.


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