“We have just completed our sixth week of the Academy and we have already covered a lot of ground. It has been a steep learning curve, with a lot of information to take in, but I feel I am keeping on track. I am working hard to reach my full potential and am trying to consolidate all of my learning at the end of each day so I don’t fall behind.
“I feel very proud to be part of Northumbria Police, which seems to me to have very high standards of professionalism whilst also being very friendly. I think the conduct inside and outside the classroom with my colleagues and peers has been very professional and we have developed a great relationship with our training leads at academy.
“We have been over a range of topics, in a mix of practical role-play and classroom-based study. This includes learning skills and processes specific to our force, and sessions like stop and search, court room procedures, domestic abuse and missing persons, anti-racism training, and use of police radios. We also completed our officer safety training and first aid training and learnt how to arrest and present a suspect to custody, take witness statements and interview victims of crime. We are about to start a few days of field training on our force Response teams, where we will experience for the first time what it will be like to respond to 999 calls alongside our experienced colleagues.
“I very much enjoy the role-play exercises we do at academy. The practical, hands-on experience has been a key part of my understanding and learning and I feel confident standing up in front of my peers and going through role-play scenarios, such as an arrest and present to custody situation. I also enjoyed first aid and officer safety training, which has made me feel more confident for my upcoming field training.
“Interviewing victims and taking witness statements required more practice, though I enjoyed it a lot. I need to remember to take my time and not to rush, as all questions are important and even very small details which may seem trivial at first could prove to be key later on. I soon found it easy to get into the flow and the required line of questioning came naturally. Learning to use the police radios was also more challenging than I thought, as I have had to get used to all the lingo and the rate of speech, but I am working on my fluency.
“Some of the content has been tough to listen to, especially topics that relate to experiences I myself have had, so it’s been important to look after my own wellbeing and resilience. I have had a lot of support from colleagues and it’s made me realise the importance of having a strong support network.
“I’m still in the process of learning to start anew in an entirely new career but I feel like I have the support of my squad. It has been great to call my family and friends and talk to them about how I’m feeling and what I have learnt each week. It’s a good way to unwind and has been a form of self-reflection, helping me adjust to my new life as a trainee detective constable.”