Being a Police Officer is a unique profesion…

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So says Nigel Tompsett, who has been a serving Police Officer since 1984 with Suffolk Constabulary. As you would expect, after my thirty years service in the police, he is not alone with his viewpoint. I suspect the majority of officers who devote their life to serving our society would also agree.

As a retired police officer and former police blogger (see Ashfordly Police Station), I feel duty bound to add my pen to Nigel’s cause. I know there are people who are anti police, I know that the police (like any profession) can have a bad apple or two from time to time however, one should never judge the good by the deeds of the poor or adopt stereotypical views.

Nigel, like many of us, is deeply concerned about all the effects of government austerity measures on British policing, as much for the effects they will have on society, not just the individual officer. It is so more than just proposes job losses however; he has chosen to champion one aspect which is the topic of police pensions. For further details see his website but for now, here he describes the role of a police officer…

There is no other job like it. On a daily basis, we can be called upon to face unknown dangers and violence: we can be shot at; stabbed; have to disarm violent criminals wielding all manner of weapons; we are abused – both physically and verbally; we attend and deal with serious and fatal road collisions…

We get to see child abuse first hand and domestic violence at its worst, and see the dreadful effects of both on human lives; we try to settle neighbourly disputes; we act as marriage guidance counsellors; we work with truculent teenagers and grumpy older people; we work with children in schools to help them steer clear of drugs and strangers because we know the dangers of both.

We also get to deal with loads and loads of really lovely people too !! 

A day’s work is often never finished at the end of a shift and we can be called upon while off duty to deal with all manner of incidents…simply because we are Police Officers.

Above all, the Job is totally rewarding – very challenging, but uniquely rewarding.

Additional comments from Facebook which also explain the police officer’s role – Author unknown:-

Police officers, Ambulance crews and Firefighters do all kinds of work on the streets, day and night, to keep people safe. They are missing their families to care for yours. In 2010, there were 39 ambulance staff, 85 firefighters and 165 police officers killed in the line of duty in the United Kingdom. How many cuts??

As a police officer you will be assaulted, spat on and insulted. Threats will be made to you and your family. You will deal with death in many forms: violent, tragic, unnatural and unexplained. Those memories however disturbing and unpleasant will come back when you least expect or want them. You will deal with violent, nasty, evil people; feel real fear and face real danger on many occasions.

You will miss parents night, family birthdays and sports days because of shifts or because you were detained on duty. Plans you had made will go out of the window because of cancelled rest days. When everyone else is settling down for Christmas dinner and an Eastenders special you will be off to work. You will deal with cruelty that most people will find hard to comprehend. As a frontline officer or custody sergeant you will have responsibility and accountability way beyond your pay scale and lose many nights of sleep over the undoubted complaints that will come your way.

You will go to court on a day off because CPS just don’t care or can’t be bothered to check your availability. There will be plenty of times when you are tired, hungry, cold and wet. It is for these reasons and many more that police officers are worth every single penny of pay, pension and overtime they earn.

Plus, let’s not forget that they pay 9.5% – 11% of their wages into their pension scheme…..what percentage does an MP pay?


Note: Police Penions are not negotiable – in other words the Police Negotiating Board can do nothing about any Government decision to change them. Whilst pay and conditions go to negotiation, police pensions do not.

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