Alumni Spotlight: PC Jack Crane, West Midlands Police Firearms Officer
Monday 21 March 2022
For the third feature in Police Now’s Alumni Spotlight series, we spoke with Police Constable Jack Crane at West Midlands Police.
Jack joined Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme in 2018. He worked as a neighbourhood police officer in Stourbridge, educating school children on the dangers of knife crime, conducting proactive policing patrols, and preventing drug dealing and burglaries. Upon graduating the programme in 2020, PC Crane moved into his new role as a Firearms Officer within the Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) Firearms Operations Unit.
He offers advice to others on the programme and gives an insight into his current role, including responding to a recent incident involving a machete, zombie knife and combat knife.
PC Jack Crane - Firearms Officer, Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) Firearms Operations Unit
Police Constable Jack Crane, West Midlands Police:
“I joined West Midlands Police via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme in 2018 after graduating from the Open University with a combined STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) degree. I also worked as a Royal Marines Reservist for four years, alongside my degree.
“I’ve always had a knack for computers, and I think my degree has helped me understand aspects of technology in policing, but I was keen to have an operational job and not be behind a desk all day.
“Whilst on the Police Now programme I worked as a neighbourhood officer in Stourbridge. I was involved in a range of community policing work, such as conducting proactive patrols for drug dealers and night patrols to prevent burglaries in the area, as well as looking after the night time economy on busy Friday and Saturday nights. I also delivered knife awareness mornings at schools to educate our young people on the dangers of carrying a knife.
“My advice to officers on the Police Now programme is be proactive, get stuck into your work and don’t be afraid to put yourself forward and volunteer for jobs whenever you can. I did this repeatedly whilst on the programme and was humbled with a nomination in the Diamond Awards, which recognises officers, staff and the public who have acted above and beyond the call of duty. One of the reasons I was nominated was because I was always putting myself forward and was keen to learn as much as possible – and still am.
“I am now a Firearms Officer on the Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) Firearms Operations Unit. I joined the team in September 2020 after a competitive application process and 15 weeks of intense but outstanding training from the West Midlands Police Firearms Instructors.
“Working on the ARV is very challenging, you are regularly responding to high threat, life-and-death situations and there is a high likelihood you will be involved in or see horrific scenes. Resilience, leadership, composure, and your ability to deal with risk and to absorb and recount information accurately are key to the role.
“I have responded to 999 calls, dealt with dangerous individuals, conducted firearms warrants, conducted patrols as part of the national mitigation strategy against terrorism, and worked alongside Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCU) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). No day is the same, that’s the nature of policing.
“I recently responded to a 999 call where a group of young teenagers, about 14 – 15 years old, had possession of a machete, zombie knife and combat knife and were attempting to hurt another teen. I was deployed to the incident with authority from the Tactical Firearms Commander and, upon arrival, the team identified and dealt with the offenders to mitigate the threat posed to the victim.
“The group attempted to flee the scene but, after a short foot chase, we caught them and recovered the weapons. We protected a victim and the public and potentially saved further lives, which is ultimately what the job is all about.
“I do see a lot of youth involvement in firearms incidents. It only reinforces what I already believe; it’s so important to get neighbourhood officers out on the streets to proactively engage with youth and tackle crime at its roots, to prevent children becoming involved in serious violence in the first place.
“I think being a neighbourhood officer for two years not only allowed me to protect the community this way but also helped me build a solid foundation of essential policing skills.
“My future aspirations are currently to remain on the ARV for now, however I have just begun my journey on Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme (FLP) which supports police constables for promotion to sergeant. I am excited about my future in policing and the positive change I will be able to affect as a leader in policing and, as someone who has dyslexia, I look forward to the extra support the FLP will provide during the promotion process.”