My name is Charlie Priestly, I studied Public Services at South Essex College and this is my story. Originally I was going to go into games design but there was an open day with police officers down the town and the College ran the ideal courses for me, it was also close to home so I changed my mind.
I really enjoyed the course, the staff were all ex- military and ex-public services personnel so they all knew their stuff. I made a lot of good friends while I was at the College too.
I now work as a police officer for the Metropolitan Police in Barking and Dagenham Borough. Whilst I was in College I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I knew that I wanted to become a police officer but I didn’t know how. Someone suggested that I become a special constable which is a volunteer police officer who doesn’t get paid for what they do but has the same powers and equipment as a normal police officer. I did this for 18 months and then applied to become a regular.
I had to do a 19 week intensive training course to become a regular police officer and it basically taught me everything I needed to know including things like interview techniques, how to talk to people, stop and search regulations, how to write a statement and common & statute law.
My time at South Essex College helped me with my career because as I said the staff were trained in public services and taught me things that people outside of the profession wouldn’t know. They could tell me their experience of doing the job.
The thing that I am most proud of is the job that I am doing now because it has taken me six years of hard work and training to get here. My ambition is to stay as a police officer for a while as I do enjoy being on the response unit, but In the future who knows? Maybe the dog unit or the marine unit would be interesting.