Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Front Counter and Firearms: volunteering with the Met Police

Will acting the part of an injured victim in a counter-terrorism training exercise

My name is Will Scott-Barrett and I am a third year Criminology student. In April 2010 I started volunteering for the Metropolitan Police right here in Kingston. Over the last two years, I have taken many roles as a Met PoliceVolunteer but it is volunteering on the front counter of Kingston Police Station that has been my main role.

I have also taken on roles doing admin work, calling victims of crime to get feedback on how they were dealt with and what their feelings were about the process, and most excitingly, volunteering for Specialist Firearms Command (more commonly known as CO19).

Volunteering on the front counter takes in a wide variety of tasks that include dealing with customers who have lost or found property, reporting in for bail, handing in their driving licences after they have been stopped for things like speeding or talking on their mobile phone, and then on occasions, we deal with victims of crime. I really have enjoyed the last two years as all of the officers and staff and the police station have been very welcoming and are always willing to assist volunteers wherever they need it.

However, for me, the best moments in the last two years have been with the firearms unit. The first one was when I went on a tour of their main base and was permitted to hold some of the firearms that they use when they go on duty. Another really good moment was when was I on exercise with them as a role-play volunteer and got to meet a troop of soldiers from the SAS along with their very friendly dog ‘Killer’. My most ‘high-profile’ role was recently when I took part in a multi-agency counter-terrorism exercise that was designed to simulate the aftermath of a terrorist attack in the middle of the Olympic Period

I volunteer for the police a couple of times a week which is probably quite a lot, but I do it because it gives me a great sense of fulfilment especially when I deal with a difficult customer and manage to solve the problem they came to the police station with. I have sadly moved onto a different role in the police now (I'm currently training as a Special Constable!) but I could not recommend the role more, anyone doing it will have a really enjoyable time.

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