Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Caught In The Web

I do find myself somewhat envious of those who take the plunge and leave this occupation of ours and do something completely different. Michael Pinkstone is one I particularly admire escaping the madness and I wish him well with the new book. Unfortunately for me I'm beginning to smell that final pension and that is the overriding reason why I wouldn't even consider leaving. The finances were never a reason for joining and I never gave it any thought in training, when I was pulled in and asked if I'd accept the police offer on part of my army service. I think it amounts to 18 months but means I can claim a full pension when I reach 50 years of age.

So for financial reasons I feel somewhat stuck where I am. I'm reasonably financially secure and am able to meet my mortgage and maintenance commitments, and work towards ensuring The Clever One leaves university debt free. I've noticed that those who have made a career change haven't had others dependent on them. One of my ex colleagues left to be a florist and will never be back. She does OK working for herself, but had a bit longer to wait for her pension. I think if she'd stayed maybe she would have fallen into the just working for the pension trap.

Another friend left to work for himself running a small retail business and as long as it goes OK won't be back either. He was a late joiner age wise so never had the lure of a full pension awaiting him. I still meet with both occasionally for drinks and they are happy with their lot. When they left I advised them both to take a career break and see how their new ventures went, just to keep their options open, but both had become disillusioned with The Job. It's a shame as both had specialised skills and had a lot to offer. They could always rejoin if things went wrong, but would come under the new pension regulations having to put in a 35 year stint.

They are in the small minority that do seem to be leaving at present. A few years back alot of the youngster's left in droves as the salary wasn't exactly competitive. Me, looks like I'm in for the long haul like I always knew I would be. I'm hoping that some sanity is going to return to policing over the next couple of year's or is that just me having an optimistic moment.

I don't know what I'd do anyway. I would prefer to work for myself when I retire so am thinking about specialised driving jobs, maybe a licenced cabbie. There is also the option of short term contract work that appeals. 6 months away on a training contract overseas for the ODA would suit me, with the other 6 laying on a beach somewhere. Then again there's always the public sector, why waste all those contacts in the local authority, surely there's an opportunity for me in the local parks police or licencing department.

One thing I will not be doing (hopefully) is returning to the fray in any guise whatsoever on the civilian side as 200 Weeks did. Unless it's as a consultant on 500 pounds a day.


Michael Pinkstone said...

Thanks SOC - kind of you to say so!

The pension is a bit of a keeper in the police, and thinking about it may very well act as a handy deterrent from all the crap, but 30 (or 35) years is rather a long time to sit and twiddle one's thumbs.

As for little old me, I left the UK, and therefore the police, to live on the same continent as my wife, which is always a good idea. Australia is a bit of a lure for some, but I can't recommend Canada highly enough. I've never been a "grass is greener" kind of chap, but it really is pretty good over here. I went through an immigration process unrelated to employment so at least I have the option of choosing what job to go for. At the moment I am having a career break and trying out some new ideas, much like the friends you mention in your post. I knew one experienced DC who left last year to go and sell houses. He'd simply had enough. There are maybe lots more like him who would like to leave, but the job does pay pretty well, the pension is great - and not all skills are transferable, unless you've got back-up training.

I also wonder every now and again if there is anything specific about UK policing that I actually miss, but I tend to do so when kayaking on a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains (10 minute drive from the Pinkstone residence) and then I think ... nah.

Anyway, if you fancy some insider information on life in the New World, you know where to find me!

Stressed Out Cop said...


I fear I'm too old. My sister emigrated to NZ and has never regretted it.

It a young persons thing .. and in some perverted way I love the dross I often have to deal with and the people. What I can't stand .. well you know that don't you.

Sounds very relaxing your new life, so very good choice. I'm pleased for you.

I'll be getting the book .. will it be on Amazon??

Officer Dibble said...

Going for the Knowledge?

The thought of driving around London all day without the option of discharging the occasional idiots to the local nick on lights and noise is not appealing.

Like yourself I have plans which do not involve stepping into a role which I have just left but in this current climate you can never say never.

The only thing I can guarantee is that I will not, once I have left,find myself acting as a Legal Rep for a Defence solicitors.

I have known a few who have (a couple were actually really good cops)..but to me there is a line etc....

Stressed Out Cop said...


I agree I knew one ex custody skipper who hated defence solicitors and gave them short shift. How surprised was I when he turned up one night in custody after he retired as a rep.

The money was good but there are limits to the things I would do.