Being a tutor constable
Police constables Steve Hartley and Catherine Lloyd work on the tutor constable programme at Northumbria Police, supporting new recruits through their first few weeks.
They explain that their role is to show students how to practically apply what they've learned at university, as well as support them emotionally.
The person that you are going to remember throughout your career is undoubtedly going to be your tutor. They influence you and guide you at a time when you’re new, you’re adjusting to the life of a police officer – which is both a personal and professional change – and they almost hold your hand emotionally as you’re going through all of that learning and adjustment.
PC Hartley uses a gradual approach to getting students settled into their new roles in response.
To start, he introduces them to the shift and sets out his expectations for the next ten weeks over a cup of tea.
He then slowly allows students to lead more jobs and interviews, before eventually dropping back and just observing them.
I’ll monitor everything they're doing and I'll make notes on everything they're doing and I'll feed them back at the end of every shift.
To be a good tutor constable, patience and flexibility is key. PC Lloyd explains that tutor constables help new recruits to put what they've learned in the classroom into practice, in a way they understand and that suits them. They're also there to help address any learning needs that come up.
I think a good tutor can look at the student and adapt themselves to meet their needs. They need to be flexible in their approach, they need to be dynamic because we don’t all learn the same way.
Their top tips for all new recruits into response policing are to be open and honest, and to ask as many questions as possible.
You need to come in with an open mind and just an attitude of positivity and excitement, and make the most of every moment and of every day because you’ll wake up and you’ll have been in 15-20 years.
The support of a tutor really sets a solid base for the rest of your career. The person that you’re going to remember at your retirement do is going to be that tutor.
Hear more from PC Hartley and PC Lloyd about tutor constables and their advice for new recruits.