Finding my future: PC Jacob Davies discovers a passion for Counter Terrorism Policing with Police Now’s external secondment
Monday 31 October 2022
Police Constable Jacob Davies joined The Metropolitan Police Service in 2020 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, and recently spent four eye-opening weeks seconded to West Midlands Counter Terrorism (CT) Unit during the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
For the last two years Jacob has worked as a neighbourhood officer in North Feltham, working alongside the local community to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. His recent secondment to West Midlands CT Unit has equipped him with new skills to bring back to his local beat and has cemented long-term aspirations to join CT policing.
During the second year of the Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme, participants are given the opportunity to apply for a highly competitive external secondment with a partner organisation or seek an internal attachment with a specialist unit within their police force.
This opportunity is built into the programme to allow officers to experience other areas of policing, work with external partners, bring new skills and learning back into force and contribute to bringing policing and society closer together; ultimately, to improve confidence in the police and lead to more effective policing.
Police Constable Jacob Davies:
“As part of the Police Now programme, I was fortunate enough to secure a four-week secondment with West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, providing a unique opportunity to gain experience in this department and see how another force operates.
“I spent the month rotating around various specialist teams within the department and, to re-use a well-worn cliché, no two days were the same. For example, in the space of three shifts I accompanied the Offender Management Team to meetings with convicted terrorists; sat in on discussions with the officers responsible for planning the CT response to the Commonwealth Games; and spent time at the National Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defence Centre in Ryton.
“I also completed a Behavioural Detection Course whilst posted with the Borders team at Birmingham Airport. The three-day course, led by the National Teaching Lead for behavioural detection, equipped me with the skills to better pick out unusual and suspicious behaviour, which are skills I can bring back to my team in the Met.
“After my time on the Borders team, I moved to central Birmingham, working with the Counter Terrorism response for the 2022 Commonwealth games. Here I spent time with members from the CT planning team, many of whom had started event preparations more than three years prior and whom had a wealth of experience in the field. We were even joined by Australian CT colleagues who had travelled across the globe to learn from the West Midlands team in preparation for the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.
“My secondment with the West Midlands CT Policing team couldn’t have been more different from my day-to-day role but it has equipped me with new and transferable skills which will undoubtedly help me on the policing frontline, as well as invaluable contacts and networking experience. The insight it has given me into long-term strategic planning has been extremely valuable and has helped me to see where I’d like to work in 10 or even 20-years’ time.
“I cannot recommend a secondment highly enough to prospective applicants. It confirmed to me that working in CT is where I see my long-term future and introduced me to situations and senior figures within policing that few probationary constables have the privilege of experiencing and interacting with. I will carry the advice and knowledge shared with me during these four weeks throughout my career and look to share it with my colleagues whenever the opportunity arises!”