Police driving standards and cars they used

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ratty
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Re: RoADAR re-branding and new constitution

Postby ratty » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:12 pm

Horse wrote:About 10 years back, IAM had two civvie bike examiners but who both had police-awarded Class 1 certificates.


I would be very surprised if this was the case.

The difference between a 1 and a 2 classifications was based no the persons marks during an advanced course. Historically, a driver's classification also had a bearing on what police vehicles the driver could drive operationally. An example of this was that you used to have to be a 1 to drive for the Robbery Squad. (The Sweeney) I believe that in years gone by the squad did use civilian drivers who must have passed the appropriate test to drive operationally, but they were not instructors. I remember back in the 1990s when the Met was trialling different high performance cars, there was a Porsche Club Sport something or other, an M3 and other similar vehicles. The instruction was that only some 1s could drive these vehicles, not 2s, and not some of the staff at the driving school because they did not hold the required classification.

I used to work with an ex-civilian instructor who then joined the police. He had to go back to the driving school for an advanced course because he had never taken one. He had done an instructors course, but that was different. He was most embarrassed because he only got a 2 on his advanced course after instructing for years!

I can not think of when a civilian instructor would drive police vehicles operationally. By this I mean outside of their driving school role. Civilian instructors tend to have the classification of 'instructor'. This allows them to use vehicles for instructional purposes, but not to drive them operationally. For instance if there was a shortage of drivers at a traffic base or an area car driver had gone sick and there was a spare civilian instructor, that instructor would not and could not drive the traffic car / area car operationally with a non-driving officer as a passenger to do all of the work if that makes sense?

In which area did these bike examiners work?

Rolyan
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Re: RoADAR re-branding and new constitution

Postby Rolyan » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:25 pm

ratty wrote:
Rolyan wrote:
EasyShifter wrote:
Rolyan wrote:It's certainly not my understanding, which is that most if not all IAM examiners are serving or recently retired Advanced police drivers, the old Class 1 classification.

I'm pretty confident that Class 2 was also advanced, the final grade being decided by the marks achieved.

Yes, I think that's correct. But my understanding is that the IAM examiners[u] are usually [/u]serving or retired Class 1. I'm questioning Ratty's assertion that there is a difference between the examiners in the two organisations. I don't think there is.


Your comment above appears to support my comment! "are usually" surely that means that they aren't always?

I may be wrong, and if so I apologise, but I suspect that you may not know how the police driving class system works or worked.

A police officer who took an advanced course was graded as either fail or pass. If you passed you were awarded either a 1 or 2 classification. This was based on your marks during the course. The, I would say, large majority of police advanced drivers are or were class 2 s. I would say typically about 20% of advanced course students passed with a 1 classification. It used to often be the case that if an officer described themselves as 'advanced', what they meant was that they were a 2. Class 1s tended to describe themselves as 'class 1'. The problem people outside of the police have is that it is very difficult for an outsider to find out the actual details of a police officers qualifications. As a result of this, I have no doubt that some police officers claim they are 1s when in fact they are 2s. The same as some ex-police civilian instructors claimed that they were class 1s and /or police advanced drivers when in fact they were not. Their driving classification was that of 'instructor', not class 1 or 2. Just because someone worked in the traffic department (or driving school) does not mean they hold a 1 classification. I have no doubt at all that the majority of 'traffic' or 'roads police' drivers were and are the equivalent of class 2s. A 1 classification does mean the holder is an 'advanced driver'. 'Advanced driver' does not necessarily mean a 1 classification though. Historically RoSPA always just wanted class 1s, the IAM only required an examiner to be 'advanced', which can be either.

As someone has said, some examiners examined for both organisations, I did, but I was a class 1. The reality is that a candidate taking either test would not know one way or the other what the examiners grade is or was and it doesn't matter. The problem is that a serving or ex class 1 MAY look at things slightly differently to a class 2, but this can also be said about different examiners from different forces and if they were taught at different times.

Hi Ratty - I agree with what you say and although I generally understand the Police scoring system, it's not to your depth of knowledge for obvious reasons.

But based on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of the class 1 and 2s, I have always understood that the IAM used class 1s. However, it would appear that this is not the case, which means that you have managed to lower my already low opinion of the IAM!

ratty
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Re: RoADAR re-branding and new constitution

Postby ratty » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:37 pm

Rolyan wrote:
ratty wrote:
Rolyan wrote:
EasyShifter wrote:I'm pretty confident that Class 2 was also advanced, the final grade being decided by the marks achieved.

Yes, I think that's correct. But my understanding is that the IAM examiners[u] are usually [/u]serving or retired Class 1. I'm questioning Ratty's assertion that there is a difference between the examiners in the two organisations. I don't think there is.


Your comment above appears to support my comment! "are usually" surely that means that they aren't always?

I may be wrong, and if so I apologise, but I suspect that you may not know how the police driving class system works or worked.

A police officer who took an advanced course was graded as either fail or pass. If you passed you were awarded either a 1 or 2 classification. This was based on your marks during the course. The, I would say, large majority of police advanced drivers are or were class 2 s. I would say typically about 20% of advanced course students passed with a 1 classification. It used to often be the case that if an officer described themselves as 'advanced', what they meant was that they were a 2. Class 1s tended to describe themselves as 'class 1'. The problem people outside of the police have is that it is very difficult for an outsider to find out the actual details of a police officers qualifications. As a result of this, I have no doubt that some police officers claim they are 1s when in fact they are 2s. The same as some ex-police civilian instructors claimed that they were class 1s and /or police advanced drivers when in fact they were not. Their driving classification was that of 'instructor', not class 1 or 2. Just because someone worked in the traffic department (or driving school) does not mean they hold a 1 classification. I have no doubt at all that the majority of 'traffic' or 'roads police' drivers were and are the equivalent of class 2s. A 1 classification does mean the holder is an 'advanced driver'. 'Advanced driver' does not necessarily mean a 1 classification though. Historically RoSPA always just wanted class 1s, the IAM only required an examiner to be 'advanced', which can be either.

As someone has said, some examiners examined for both organisations, I did, but I was a class 1. The reality is that a candidate taking either test would not know one way or the other what the examiners grade is or was and it doesn't matter. The problem is that a serving or ex class 1 MAY look at things slightly differently to a class 2, but this can also be said about different examiners from different forces and if they were taught at different times.

Hi Ratty - I agree with what you say and although I generally understand the Police scoring system, it's not to your depth of knowledge for obvious reasons.

But based on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of the class 1 and 2s, I have always understood that the IAM used class 1s. However, it would appear that this is not the case, which means that you have managed to lower my already low opinion of the IAM!


I wouldn't worry about this at all.

Some students who passed their driving course with a 1 then let their standard drop due to lack of interest or other things. Some 2s improved their standard after their course and could easily be better drivers than some who passed with a 1 classification! It's down to the individual and their interest in driving, not down to a score on a course may years ago. The course was just another stage in learning and development, it wasn't the final stage. I think it's better to judge the driver now, not from a paper certificate awarded years ago.

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StressedDave
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Re: RoADAR re-branding and new constitution

Postby StressedDave » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:45 am

ratty wrote: I remember back in the 1990s when the Met was trialling different high performance cars, there was a Porsche Club Sport something or other, an M3 and other similar vehicles.

Porsche 968, BMW M3 and err Rover 220 turbo coupe. Two failed on the grounds of price and the other because if you sneezed, you went from lane 3 to up the bank in short order. guess which one... hateful car. I think one reason the experiment failed was because a certain driver chose to drive to Cumbria and back in an 8 hour shift :racing: Not to mention the fact that you don't need a 150mph car in London.

As for civilian instructors at Hendon, one left within a couple of years while the other was there for 25 years... More than a few driving schools have civilian instructors. Some are retired policemen and I know of at least one who came via the ambulance service.
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ratty
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Re: RoADAR re-branding and new constitution

Postby ratty » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:07 pm

There was also supposed to have been a twin turbo Toyota, which if it did exist didn't last long and I didn't see it, and an Astra GSi which was actually quite fast and popular. At the time all of the traffic cars were autos and it was nice to drive a manual car for a change.

The M3 was very fast and a pleasure to drive. It was yellow with a brown leather interior and I'm sure that it had a sun roof. I took a photo of it and I've often wondered what happened to it in the long term. I was told that BMW were not happy when it was returned as the engine was not very healthy. They complained that it had been driven too hard, which bearing in mind what it was designed for, seemed a strange thing to say. Apparently they said that if they had known it was going to be driven that hard they would have dry sumped it. It was strange that some hard road use would do this to the engine! The BMW, Rover 220, Astra and I'm sure the Porsche, didn't have roof lights although they did have full side markings. The number of people who overtook them at speed not apparently noticing the side markings was very surprising, although not as surprising as it was to them when the front blue lights and two tones were switched on to stop them!

There were numerous civilian instructors at Hendon who instructed on almost all of the driving courses except the advanced car course. I was told that years ago the driving school looked into using civilian instructors on the advanced course. I know that at least two civilian instructors who had not previously been police officers, were used for this trial but it was very quickly accepted that these instructors would not be used on these courses. As has been said above, one left quite quickly after the experiment, the other continued to work at Hendon for many years, but not on the advanced wing at the school. Lots of police driving schools use civilian instructors. Some of these are ex police officers, some aren't. Some schools use civilian instructors on their advanced courses, some don't.

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jcochrane
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Location: Surrey-Kent borders and wherever good driving roads are.

Re: RoADAR re-branding and new constitution

Postby jcochrane » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:15 am

Not sure of the year but around 1990 the Met also tried a Jaguar and an MG Maestro 2.00i as Met. Area cars. A good friend of mine who was then a Met Area driver said the Jag was fine in a straight line but corners were another thing all together. He did like the MG though and thought it made a good Area car for London. Stick it in 3rd and it did everything you wanted up to 90mph was his summing up.

ratty
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Re: RoADAR re-branding and new constitution

Postby ratty » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:53 am

I didn't experience the Jag. I was told it had a low ratio diff and accelerated like the clappers. I think there was also a Turbo Technics Jag at some point. Quick in a straight line apparently!

I did experience the Maestro, but as an unmarked traffic car and not as an area car. It was certainly fast and, if I remember correctly, quite popular.

BL also did a four door car similar to the five door Maestro called the Montego. This was not as popular as the Maestro.

I heard storeys about an early Rover SD1 Vitesse which was also supposed to have been very quick, but unreliable. A lot of the SD1s had to be modified to take bigger front brakes and ended up with Minilite alloy wheels because the standard BL brakes could not cope.

fungus
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Re: Police driving standards and cars they used

Postby fungus » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:54 pm

I had a 1.6 Montego in 1984. It wasn't too bad performance wise. BL claimed 0 to 60 in 7.4 seconds for the 2L MG Montego IIRC.

Nigel.


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