April 17th, 2008

Promotion Opportunities

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I heard some worrying news this week; PC Andrews is going for an acting sergeant’s position in the control room. 

Under normal circumstances I’d say ‘good luck to him’ after all why should someone else’s career path be of any concern of mine? The trouble is, the bloke is a complete tosser. Although he’s not on my shift, we do crossover sometimes & he often relieves me (not in the Biblical sense, you understand!)  If he gets the job the chances are that he won’t stay on his own shift & will go to another, that’s a one in four chance he’ll come to mine & be my sergeant.

I’m quite an affable sort of chap & I talk to people on other shifts & I’ve not found a single one who has a good word to say about him. Hi attitude is appalling, his manner is arrogant & condescending. He has 4 years in the job which means he came in the control room when he was just out of his probation. Rumour control has it that he came into the control because the 3 front line shifts he was on wanted him due to being a bloody liability. He’s one of these blokes who thinks he knows it all. He is the prime example the phrase "better to keep your mouth shut & appear stupid, than to open it & removal all doubt", was invented for.

It makes me laugh the way he talks to senior PCs, some of whom were policing before he was born (e.g. me, but especially traffic officers), as if he knows more than they do. If power was ever going to someone’s head, then working in the control room & telling people what to do was his ideal opportunity, he milks it. I mention traffic officers because that department has about the highest proportion of experienced officers still out on the street. Front-line policing is so crap these days that nobody stays longer than a few years. My own example of 28 years is almost unheard of. So it’s fun listening to PC Andrews trying to tell someone on the motorway how to deal with a fatal accident.

Under the old system, it would be reasonably hard for someone like PC Andrews to get promoted. Generally, you had to be a capable officer (unless you were on the High Potential Development Scheme or whatever they call it these days) & you had to pass an exam. These days you have to fill in a few forms saying how good you are, tick some boxes, it helps to be part of a minority group so the force can get its quotas up & you have to show how well you accept ‘diversity’.

I have absolutely no doubt that PC Andrews will achieve promotion sooner or later, not because he deserves it, but because any shift he works with will thoroughly recommend him as the quickest way to get rid of him off their shift.

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  1. Vicki says:

    I know a PC Andrews type myself, nightmare of a bloke. Very young (real years aswell as life experience). I was once attacked in custody and he wrote in his IRB ‘I TRIED TO PULL THE MAN OFF PC *** BUT HE WAS TOO STRONG AND SO I LET GO.’ He has gone to CCR now and i don’t care too much as I don’t have to work with him anymore!

    I have just passed the exam, and being a traffic officer have no chance to do any acting, but there you go. Apparently we have enough sergeants now and so there are limited opportunities for people like me.

    I really hope that your PC Andrews gets the job and falls flat on his face. Sounds nasty I know, but it is hard to have respect for a police officer who has gone to control room ‘cos he can’t hack the outside world. All of the police controllers (as well as the police staff) I work with are excellent, but then I suppose I am just lucky.

    April 17th, 2008 at 23:01

  2. Reactively Proactive says:

    I have just failed my exam. Totally expected though as I only did it to get a grip on the experience for when I go for it for real and put the work in. I’d be a crap sergeant at the moment. Nowhere near enough experience. I know some make good leaders afer 4-5 years but I’d rather get at least 10 years in with a range of departments (with the exception of traffic – they do a great job, but I have absolutely no interest in this area what so ever and I could never give it the dedication it needs to be a good traffic officer). The best bosses I’ve had have done it the long way and have become well respected for it as they actually know what they are talking about rather than fluffing it!!

    April 18th, 2008 at 11:54

  3. PC Hadenough says:

    These days you don’t have to be a good copper to get promoted. In fact I would argue that the opposite is true these days. The ‘PC Andrews’ of this world are quite common I’m afraid. Pass the exam, satisfy the diversity gestapo and invent some evidence of good working practice and you’ve got your three stripes. In fact anyone is capable of becoming a Sgt, all they have to do is want to be one.

    With promotion should be taught leadership skills. All candidates should be required to go on (and pass) a lengthy course studying just this one subject. Only thene might we begin to see some improvement in our management.

    April 18th, 2008 at 13:47

  4. Civ_In_The_City says:

    How long do you have to spend doing a job before you can honestly say “I`m a plumber/computer technician/copper/whatever”.

    Well, it partly depends on who you`re trying to convince.

    The growth of the aromatherapy/crystal healing/reiki/feng shui industry demonstrates there are millions prepared to convince themselves they`re a new age healer on the basis of a half dozen evening classes at the local Y.M.C.A.

    Ditto for jobs with uniforms. I wear the hat therefore I am a copper. Non-coppers will be convinced. Actual coppers who know what the job is about will not.

    It is a sad truth that sometimes people are promoted out of harms way, and left thinking they`ve got their on merit. We should pity them while we laugh behind their backs.

    It`s a sadder truth that the police service is now about as touchy-feely as your nearest inner-city social workers trade union. Think how it would hurt his feelings if we told him off for being useless at the job we pay him 40 grand a year to do. Sack him? what are you, a sadist?

    It`s an even sadder truth that, as I`ve said before, the only crime worth a damn these days is ‘causing offence’. Sacking him would be illegal on those grounds (probably).

    Let them convince people they bump into at parties that they`re Inpsector Clouseau. Let them convince themselves when they put the hat on and check themselves out in the bathroom mirror (on rest days). But don`t encourage or reward someone for failure.

    The word is ‘authentic’. When something is exactly what is appears to be. The genuine article. The real McCoy. Decent. Proper. Fit for purpose.

    An employer shouldn`t be obliged to indulge the delusions of it`s employees. If yours does then none of the above terms apply, and they deserve all the PC Andrews they get.

    April 18th, 2008 at 19:31

  5. 200 says:


    that’s what I like about your comments, well thought out, sensible & adult!

    April 18th, 2008 at 20:54

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