SO YOU WANT TO BE A POLICE OFFICER? When you start your job, you get to wear only one colour, blue. You work all hours of the day and night, on your wedding anniversary, at Christmas and on the day your child is the star of the kindergarten ballet and recital. When there are explosions, gunshots or screams, you run towards them. You must love children, even those who are shooting at you. You have to be able to separate a bottle wielding husband from a knife wielding wife, with no injury to anyone. Then, when you arrest one, the other jumps on your back and attacks you. People curse you, you can't curse back. People hate you and you can't hate back. You have to be an expert in criminal law, a counsellor, a negotiator, perfect at crowd control, a therapist, a marksman, a hero, a psychic, an expert in race relations, be able to deliver a baby, climb a rope, scale a wall, have the analytical intelligence of Sherlock Holmes, the sensitivity of Jesus Christ and be able to hit like George Foreman. You can never lose your temper. If you give a driver a ticket for doing 55mph in a 30mph limit crowded with kids, the driver will demand to know why you aren't chasing criminals instead of respectable citizens like him. If you chase a criminal who then pulls a gun and you shoot him, it's your fault, and sometimes you are prosecuted. If you chase a madman who's driving a car and there's a crash, its always your fault. If you don't believe it's your fault, just listen to the television news and read the newspaper reports and they will set you straight. If you pursue, wrestle, handcuff and arrest an armed robber, and get bruised and bloodied, and forget to dot an I or cross a T, a judge, or panel of judges, or a whole court will tell you it's your fault, and release a dangerous criminal into the community. You have to solve major crimes in a day, or you're not doing your job. If you stop five minutes for lunch, you are lazy. If you accept a cup of coffee, you are on the take. If you get to the scene five minutes after the call for help, you are berated for not getting there faster. You have to know more about chemicals than a chemist. You have to know more about chemical reactions in a human being than a doctor does, and when you break into a crack house, you can never forget to caution the assorted collection of criminals who are racing for doorways, jumping out of windows, punching you in the face, and running to the bathroom to relieve themselves of the evidence. If the criminals don't get rid of the evidence then their state funded defence will attack you in court, and of course, it's your fault. In a hostage situation, if you shoot the hostage taker, you are a murderer, and if you don't shoot him and continue to talk to him, and someone is injured, you are indecisive. You are unpopular all the time, every hour, every day, until someone needs you. Pay isn't great, hours are ridiculous and you probably won't see regular shifts until you've been in the job for fifteen years. If you are still interested in being a Police officer, you can apply immediately by calling recruitment branch on 0207 230 1212.