Updated: Feb 2, 2019
How To Become a Police Station Representative?
(1) Find out what it is like
The best way of becoming a police station representative is to actually find out what it is like. Whilst at this stage you will not actually be able to experience going to a police station and advising a suspect the easiest way of finding out what it entails is actually to go and find someone who actually does the job on a day to day basis. Contact a police station representative and actually have a chat with them. Most police station representatives are by their very nature quite nice and approachable. Be polite and remember they may be very busy at certain times and their clients come first. However, if you leave a telephone number and/or email address they will usually come back to you. Don't expect an immediate reply! They may be very busy dealing with clients at the very moment you ring.
(2) Find that every elusive supervising Solicitor!
Without that supervising solicitor, you cannot complete your portfolio. He/She has to sign the portfolio off at the end and should be available during your training period to both give feedback on what you have done and how you can improve. He/She should also be available if you go to a police station on your own. Every one of us gets situations which are thrust upon us which as a new rep you may not know the proper way of dealing with. To find him/her ask friends or family if they know anyone who practices criminal law as a solicitor and who may be ready to help you. Most police station rep sites will let you put free adverts on their sites. Write to criminal practices asking if you can shadow a criminal solicitor in your holidays. You may only get one reply but you only need one supervising solicitor.
(3) Be enthusiastic
Everybody likes someone who is enthusiastic and is passionate about what they are doing. Be ready for the fact that being a police station rep will be a 24 hour 7 day a week job. Accept the fact that if you are to be successful this is not a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job. You can't knock off in the middle of a police station interview and leave. Sometimes you may be at the police station for hours if not days. The average police station attendance is three hours. If you are doing something serious like a murder or a terrorism case it will be days. Clients and firms (let alone the police) will not be impressed if they see a new face. Remember it is the clients liberty and sometimes the rest of his or her life that will be affected.
(4) Register with an assessment organisation
You have to pass Part A of the portfolio and pass the written exam. Without this, you cannot apply for your pin no. Check the regulations you may be exempt from the exam if you have done and passed recently a law degree. Check the regulations as they can change quite frequently. Remember you have to pass everything (portfolio, exams etc within a year). Remember very few people pass the first time so give yourself lots of time in case things go wrong.
(5) Learn, Learn, Learn!
Get hold of some criminal texts and learn criminal law to a high standard. Get hold of a copy of the definitive book - Ed Capes Defending Suspects at Police Stations. A copy of Blackstone's Criminal Law or Archbold may not go amiss. Subscribe to Legal websites and remember a little learning goes a long way. Keep up to date with sentencing and Criminal Practice.
(6) What Do I Need?
Next post coming soon for the characteristics
you will need as a police station rep!