It will come as a terrible blow to the PCs who think we are a bunch of time and space wasters to learn that the Urban Special Constabulary will be getting involved in the London Olympics in 2012. It would be a mad world if we were not, because there simply are not enough "proper violent" police officers in the UK to police such a large event while also keeping the wheels on everywhere else. In the unlikely event that someone doesn't manage to derail things, the USC will be joining our big city colleagues in force come 2012.
As part of the ramping up of the challenges us Specials are presented with, we were asked to provide feet on the ground at Urbis' very own music festival this weekend, which you won't have heard about because it is always eclipsed by London's Notting Hill Carnival.
While I do not want to turn this into a rant about the frankly unfriendly attitudes presented to volunteers by all of our regular colleagues, it is worth the aside. There is an cliquishness in the police which I do not like at all. Rather than respecting the uniform that a special colleague is wearing and bothering to find out where we are coming from, some officers will simply assume that we know nothing and cannot be trusted. Response team PCs (in particular) often ignore us in the hope that we will get bored and go away.
Luckily some of the more highly-ranked officers I have worked with have been more open-minded. Perhaps the Sergeants and above know a bit more about motivation and team leadership (is there a course?). It is certainly nice to be appreciated. Particularly nice is when a Chief Inspector comes up to your serial to thank you personally for doing a grand job. Even better is when a second does the same, completely independently of the first. Better yet is when your serial inspector tells you at knock-off time that you were guinea pigs in an experiment that has gone well.
When I got back to the police station after we had been stood down, I noticed that I had spilled egg and bacon and doughnut jam on my pristine black clip-on tie at breakfast time. The label said DRY CLEAN ONLY, but it inadvertently ended up in the machine. It survived: concept proved.