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As an ex Warrant Officer and now a newly appointed PC I think there is a world of difference between the role of a Pte and a PC. The Force I am serving with had three exam papers to pass to get through the academic stage and an interview and a full day assessment including a grilling.
During training we had four exams to pass amongst a host of other tests to be allowed to pass out from the College. I am on probation for two years and get monthly reports monitoring my progress and an academic programme to follow for 12 months with exams at the end of that to pass. I might get an increment if my Supt thinks I have stepped up to the plate and I might be allowe to stay on after 2 years if my Chief Constable is persuaded I have performed well enough in my first two years.
In my first month I have dealt with Junkies, picked up needles on the streets to avoid children or anyone else for that matter being infected, grappled with drunks who want to fight. Been to houses were I would rather not sit down and then make sure I wipe my feet on the way out. Helped to save the lives of two people, one who was standing on a stool ready to hang himself and talk him down, another who had overdosed and had to be encouraged to accept help from Paramedics. I could go on and on but you know the score......... However, life goes on and members of the public have expectations to be met.
We all have choices in our lives and I chose this as a second career. I feel well supported and would say that we are not all that well resourced either for the stuff we are expected to do. The chances of frontline PCs getting tasers is to the best of my knowledge very slim. Only specialist teams will get them and its not like every single 999 response PC in the country is getting them.
There will always be arguments about lack of resources, and sometimes when the money pot is sitting waiting to be emptied its those who argue the best who get served first. The people with the purse strings should be the focus of any discontent within the Army, not ordinary PCs who can only hope of a good argument at the budget table to get the resources to do the job that the public expect from them. Labour most certainly do not like the blue uniform over the Army one. Political pressure resulted in better pay package for Forces whilst serving on operations for the Forces so believe you do have clout somewhere. Being in a Union like the Police have does not guarantee better anything with the current regime tho.
Back in the early nineties there were options for change that suggested that post Cold War we no longer needed the size of Army we had. And now we are hearing that the 'Cold War' may be on again with all the talk of the US opening up bases in the Chech Republic and Russian fighter jets flying near to, or in our airspace. Yet whilst we are reducing our expenditure on defence, Russia is increasing it and other states are also.
And what are we doing, reducing again and again !
My point ? Naturally I have enormous respect for our Forces who are doing an amazing job with such bravery coupled with a fighting spirit admired the world over. But please lets not compare the Police and Army. There is far more to Policing than writing tickets, the underbelly of UK society is not that pleasant but there is important work to be done in this respect. We all have choices to make and everyone needs tools to do the job they are expected to do. As someone else has said, why select thePolice to make comparisons - there are zillions of other jobs out there better paid than a Pte in the Army.
Is the role of a Pte any less important than a PC and vice versa ? No way they both come with unique challenges and they are really not comparable in my opinion.
In my opinion the best thing that the Forces can do is keep up the political pressure for change through BAFF etc. And lets not talk about the pay of MPs and how much of an increase they will get and the resources they have to do the job they are expected to do !!!