Thanks to the IPA during a recent visit to UK, I have fulfilled one of my dreams that of observing the Metropolitan Police patrolling the streets of London. During my visit I was hosted by IPA members Mr George Palmer who is a retired police officer together with his colleague Mr. Terry O’Hallorn, who is a serving member of the Met police.
On the 22nd August we met at Plumstead Police Station at 8am for a day which proved to be a great experience for me. After the usual introductions, they made me tour around the Police station, showing me great hospitality and making sure I felt at home. I was taken to the Control Room, the Custody suites, the briefing rooms, and the CID department. Although this is just a district police station, it has all the facilities of a police headquarters. After the tour it was time to go out on the beat. We boarded an unmarked met police car and later also the met police prison van. While affecting the patrol, I could observe the way they carried out their duties and how they responded to the various calls. I was impressed how courteous they are with the public and the reciprocal respect they receive from the common citizen. However at the same time they are assertive and very well trained. It must be pointed out that the Metropolitan police like other police departments within the UK benefit from vast resources and equipment which facilitates their job and make them more professional in what they do. After performing an entire twelve hours shift with my friends it was time to be dismissed.
I must admit that this was definitely an extraordinary experience for me during which I have gained considerable knowledge about policing in another country. Both George and Terry have been in Malta and they have friends within the Force. They spoke very highly of our officers and they told me that they think that we perform a great job considering our limited resources. Although this was not the first time I met UK police, it was my first experience with the Metropolitan Bobbies.
After this successful visit I feel I should express my gratitude and thanks to PS Joseph Mamo, the National Treasurer for this help in making the necessary arrangements. Finally, I am personally convinced that it is beneficial to be a member of the IPA which aims to provide us with various opportunities such as experiencing policing away from our shores and also meeting foreign colleagues from around the world.
PC Karl Cassar Traffic Branch, Malta