PC Georgia Banner, 26 from West Sussex recently joined the Met’s Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) programme. Here she shares some of her experiences and journey into policing.
So what led you to a career in policing?
Having originally started a degree course in Criminology, I felt that university wasn’t for me, but it did lead me with an interest in the theory of why people commit crimes. A family friend who works in the Met, offered to take me on a ride along – which is where you spend time shadowing a police officer in order to better understand the role. It was the best day of my life. I just thought, “I need to do this job!”
How did you hear about the Met’s apprenticeship programme?
I originally applied to another police training course, and I was worried that the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme might not be for me, because university didn’t work out for me previously, so I literally sat down and wrote a list of pros and cons. I spoke to officers that I knew who were already in the Met, and they said that if they’d had the opportunity to do the apprenticeship, they would have – so I thought I would give it a go!
What has your apprenticeship involved so far?
It’s a mixture of classroom learning and practical learning. So I’ve spent 17 weeks at the university of West London, learning all the legislation and policies, the knowledge that a police officer needs. I have just completed eight weeks of street duties, which is where you are working on borough along with experienced officers who help you to put your initial learning into practice safely and confidently.
How did you find the mix between classroom based and practical learning?
When I went to my borough (where I am based) the first time, I got a bit shaky. It was suddenly a feeling of “This is now real” but it all just clicked into place. You’ll never know everything in this job, but putting all the learning into practice suddenly made sense.
What are you doing next?
Next, I do six months on Safer Neighbourhoods, tackling antisocial behaviour and other local issues, and six months on Emergency Response, I’m just waiting to find out which one I get posted to. And then you swap, which is great. I’ve been so excited to join Emergency Response, because that’s why I joined. But actually, I’m also enjoying foot patrol and neighbourhood policing. I think to be a great officer, to have all of those rotations is really good, because you’re going to get all of the experience.
How have you been supported on your apprenticeship?
The support I have received from my instructors and my sergeant was just phenomenal. I’m connected to the university of West London, but I’m also getting all of the support from my borough colleagues and the wider Met.
Any stand out moments so far?
I recently won Best Student in my class and was presented with that award by the Acting Commissioner. That was definitely my highlight since joining the Met!
What would you say to anyone considering joining the Met’s Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme?
It really is the best job in the world. The ride-along is what drew me in, and I always wanted to do Emergency Response, but since joining, I’ve realised that the opportunities are endless. I think you can do absolutely anything at the Met! I’ve already spoken to someone about doing attachments to different units, and I’m so excited to try those out.