As with every Thursday in term time, this evening was spent at Beavers (the youngest section of Scouts). But instead of the Scout hut, we went to the Police station today.
As always I turned up half an hour early, and spent 25 minutes worrying about whether I had gotten the correct day, or time, entrance, or if people would even turn up. Luckily one of the Beavers turned up early, and so I had a long drawn out conversation with him and his little brother about Police, school and the amount of cameras in the police station reception (6 for a very small space).
Within good time, the other leaders and most of the Beavers turned up and after reminding them of the rules of being at a Police station, a police officer came out to introduce himself (PC Steve someoneorother, otherwise known as 4577).
Unfortunately the Newbury Police station has expanded, you used to be able to look in the cells. But now Newbury holds more dangerous criminals, and so you are not allowed down there.
Our tour started in a board room; with Steve showing off his Police gadgets and getting the kids to identify the tell tale signs of a Police officer and what Police officers do.
- Pepper spray has a proper name (it starts with c, but I can’t actually remember it) and makes peoples noses run as well as their eyes close up.
- The Police do not use ‘handcuffs’ any more. They instead use ‘rigid cuffs’ which are essentially the same thing, but instead of a chain in the middle, there is a solid section which holds the cuffs in a rigid position. This also allows the Police to twist them down, thus apprehending the criminal with the pain of their wrists.
- The Alsatians are trained to follow the scent (and possibly bite) people who are moving fast. This is how they apprehend criminals who are running, and why when the dogs are set to chase mode the Police call is ‘don’t move’ or else the dog may go after them.
- Only the small dogs are used for drug sniffing (even though in movies it is always Alsatians portrayed in drug heists).
- The pattern of the side of the Police vehicles is called a ‘battenburg pattern’ after the cake.
- PC is short for Police Constable, left from when the Police used to be a constabulary.
- Not only Police officers can wear belts! (Contrary to one boys opinion)
After the Q and A session, we got to sneak down (past a load of offices that we weren’t supposed to interrupt) to the car park. This is the lockdown car park, where all of the Police cars, vans and unmarked Police cars. It was pretty darn cool. We locked the kids in the Police van cell, and the three Beavers that are moving up to cubs next week got to sit in the drivers seat and try out the sirens and flashing lights. We then alligatored back to the main room for a quiz and to collect our Newbury Police goodies.
After all of the kids got collected, we discussed a weekend outing to the local Police museum. Somewhere where there is not only a lot of interesting information (even a section on the Great Train Robbery), but a large open space, great for sporting games and picnics. We may have this for all areas of Scouts to have a really big outing. I think it would be good. I really hope I am around for this weekend outing, as the last weekend outing (to Pautons park!) I was away.