What is it like to be a student police officer?

Pc James Fiddaman is about to embark on his first solo shifts after completing his police training.

Pc James Fiddaman is about to embark on his first solo shifts after completing his police training. Photo: Harriet Orrell - Credit: Archant

It can be easy to take the police for granted - but what few people know is the work put in to become an officer of the law.

Student officer Pc James Fiddaman is about to be sent out into the world of policing.

He has undertaken 10 weeks in the classroom and further 10 shadowing a tutor to learn what is expected in his chosen career.

He said: 'I'm really looking forward to getting my independence as an officer.

'When you're learning and shadowing you see how other people do things and it will be good to go out on my own so I can put my own stamp on a case.'

In his time as a student police officer Pc Fiddaman has been faced with a number of challenges most people would never come across in their entire lives.

'I worked on three sudden deaths in three days,' he said.

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'It was very interesting as each one had a different family, a different set of circumstances and required a different approach.

'It was a fresh experience each time and I found these cases to be a learning curve.'

Having studied biomedical sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, Pc Fiddaman had previously worked with deceased bodies.

However the experience of working with families was a new challenge.

'I have also enjoyed taking drink drivers off the road,' he added. 'That is particularly satisfying.'

Pc Fiddaman's grandfather had worked for the Metropolitan Police in London and encouraged him to put in his application.

At the time he had worked a few administrative jobs, including one at a private medical insurance firm, and had worked with the fire service.

However being a police officer was not like he expected.

He said: 'It's not like you see on TV. There is so much more going on behind the scenes and it is a brilliant and diverse place to work.

'Anyone thinking of becoming a police officer should think hard before making the decision, but really go for it.

'And communication is key - if you don't know how to talk to people, you won't get very far.'