Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The Promised Land

After two years of periodically suggesting to my wife that we should leave Blighty and settle in the Oldish-New World, she has finally warmed to the idea. Over the past two weeks she has been actively pressurising me into making the dream a reality. I have already e-mailed the New Zealand Police Service but they are not currently recruiting, although they will retain my name on file and contact me in the future should the situation change.

Following further discussion and an increasing desperation to leave for a better life, my wife has also suggested doing the same with the Police Services in Canada and Australia. She, like me, and the majority of the population, have had enough. We have a child, and we do have genuine concerns over what the future holds for her should we remain. Something really is rotten in the State of England, and I doubt it will ever change for the better. Certainly not in my daughter's lifetime or mine.

I don't know if the Canadian or Australian Police Services are recruiting at the moment, but it would be a wonderful quandary for us to have to make a decision about which country would be most suitable. My wife asked me to draw up a list of pros and cons for each, and I have listed these below.

I must stress that I have never visited any of these countries, but have watched Neighbours, Home and Away, Due South and looked at photographs on the internet. My list is therefore based upon the most extreme bias, prejudice and discriminatory views of those countries, and I can only apologise for my ignorance.

New Zealand

Pros: It has a lovely climate, cool in the winter and warm in the summer. The cost of living is good. They're good at rugby. The police officers have guns. The women look nice. I am led to believe that the warm climate and surrounding waters is conducive to water-related sports.

Cons: I can't swim. As they're good at rugby I won't achieve hero status or a pivotal role in the first team, and will only ever be asked to referee the toddler's side.


Pros: It's warm all-year-round. The cost of living is good. They're good at rugby. The police officers have guns. They like beer and drink lots of it. The women look nice.

Cons: As they're good at rugby, they'll quickly realise that I am not. I've heard that the insects are large and vicious, and some have arms the size of an Olympic wrestler's. The spiders have 'Love' and 'Hate' tattooed on their knuckles. Prisoner Cell Block H is no longer in production, which is a terrible shame. I used to spend my drunken hours considering which of the women I would have sex with. Bea Smith would invariably triumph.


Pros: Nice summers and bloody cold winters. The cost of living is good. The police officers have guns. They'e not very good at rugby, which means I could play for the first fifteen and have numerous female admirers. They also have vast swathes of forest and woods.

Cons: I've read that a hairy bear really does sh*t in the woods, and that their sh*t consists of unwitting and ignorant foreigners such as I. I don't know of any television programmes that have attractive (or not) women who I could consider having sex with whilst sat in a drunken stupor before retiring to bed.

It's all very early days yet, but I hope that within two years we could resettle. If you're an ex-pat in any of these countries serving as a police officer, or if you're a national who is serving, or even if you have a particular view of the respective services as a citizen, I'd be interested to learn of your thoughts and experiences. I'm sure there are many other British police officers in a similar position to me who would like to know.

Please tell me it's better than here.
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  1. LH - Is it just getting out of your particular bit of England (I am assuming Utopia is in England), or is it the whole country?

    For myself, I imagine that getting out of the South East would probably be a good thing. Apparently in the frozen North people have more time for each other and are nicer. Not like down here.

    If i speak to someone at random in the gym or in the pub or something the prevailing mindset of the recipient is :
    1. This person has a strange sexual prediliction that they wish to foist on me and I should be extremely suspicious lest I am violated
    2. This person mentally ill and has no friends. I mustn't become appear to be their friend or i will end up in a ditch. Or, all my friends will abandon me because i will get a reputation for being nice to 'special' people.
    3. There must be a financial motivation involved somewhere in this person facade of friendliness and I must distrust them implicitly because if it wasn't the other two reasons its definitely this.

    I think in the North you're more likely to encounter this
    1.This is a nice guy I dont know who's kind enough to pass the time of day with me. I'll enjoy a moment of pleasant human interaction with them. A stranger is a friend you havent met yet after all.

    Ok so I slightly exaggerate, but i think the point is very valid.

    My question to your good self LH is why do you wish to leave this sceptred Isle? Lots of people feel the same way of course. I wondered what your motivation is?

    I am with you though. Either out of the South East and its materialistic shallow b/s or out of UK. It sounds good to me. Then again the grass is always greener on the other side ...

  2. NSW is absolutely begging for coppers, but the force has gone to hell. We had one of your lot (Peter Ryan) out here a few years ago to "clean it up" and he gutted it and replaced it with PC pansies. Try WA - the weather is nicer.

  3. You want to talk to Copperfield, he seems to have moved to Canada for the good of his sanity.

  4. Bertie - excellent comment, worthy of a post on your own blog in its own right. You've hit the nail on the head with the suspicions people have when we are friendly to them, I know when I was up north I would have those feeings when meeting the overtly friendly locals. Down south it's the opposite, no one wants to be your friend. Nice if you want to be anonymous, but sad when you miss the community spirit further afield. I will miss England. I love England - the people, the countryside, the local pub, the TV, football, rugby, friends, so many things. But the fabric of democracy has fallen apart here, and the level of corruption reaches the highest level. We're in great debt, and I don't want my daughter to pay for our generation's mistakes, or the mistakes of the bankers and government. She doesn't deserve it. None of us do. I'll always be an Englishman. I'll always be proud of that fact.

    Boy on a bike - I heard about NSW and all of the problems it had and is still having. Still, it wouldn't put me off going there. The force might not be so jolly, but the rest of the country is. Still, thanks for the advice and I'll see if WA s desperate, sorry, keen to recruit me.

    Anonymous - that's a good pointer. I have noticed PC Copperfield's postings are much chirpier since he left, and his moans and groans are still about England!

  5. Mate, I served in two UK forces before transferring to South Australia Police (SAPOL) and would highly recommend it. Some cheeky devils manage to transfer over here whilst on a career break form their UK forces to leave the door open a bit should they wish to return.

    Have a look at South Australia Police’s own website and take a look at www.police-forum.com It was set up by a SAPOL inspector.

    South Australia Police are currently recruiting serving UK officers. Places are limited and it is a competitive process. You will have to be TOTALLY committed.

    Their operation is very slick and they work closely with the immigration authorities.

    Policing is the same (the crook even smell the same!). The level of violence and social decay is much lower. Houses are much bigger and cheaper. Look at www.realestate.com.au .

    I miss friends and family but not the UK (which is a shame as it used to be a good place to live). My kids are very happy here and the lifestyle is second to none.

  6. Come to Canada!

    I am currently in the application process for the RCMP. They are hiring actively, as are a lot of municipal forces throughout The Great White North (don't let that name fool you, in places like Victoria, BC, 'white' is an uncommon occurance which is cheered by all school children and cursed by everyone else).

    Edmonton is a great police service which is hiring about 200 new officers (so I've heard, the number may be down) this year alone. It's in the middle of Alberta, and Alberta is a great place to live. I grew up there. Great people, stunning scenery. Edmonton is quite a nice city as well - very amenable to family living. It has a lot of attractions both in the city and outside of it (including parks for hiking, camping, biking, etc.). Here's a link: www.joineps.ca

    I could sing the praises for EPS up and down. They are a leader in the technological field of policing, and their training program is really good. Considering you get to train where you're going to work, and they start paying right off the bat, it's nothing to sneeze at. I'm going to be applying there as well, once my eyes have had their prescribed recovery period after laser eye surgery (for the job, of course).

    There are also other forces hiring which I'm familiar with. Vancouver PD is great if you want large-city policing. http://vancouver.ca/police/recruiting/index.html They're pretty awesome. I love Vancouver, myself, but a lot of people don't like it too much. It's an exhilirating city.

    Then there's the municipal forces on Vancouver Island (off the west coast of BC). Victoria PD and Saanich PD.

    I don't think you'd have a problem with any of those. Vancouver is especially keen on hiring officers from other forces. They have a shorter hiring process for officers - 30 days, I think, as opposed to the 2-4 months it regularly takes.

    Good luck! Hope to see you on this side of the ocean sometime. :)

  7. I'm no police officer, but I am Canadian, and given what I've seen while living in London, you would find living and working in Canada downright relaxing and invigorating. Helps if you enjoy outdoor sports, both summer and winter.

    May I point you to:

    Your quaint English accent will provide a charming ice-breaker in interviews and social occasions, though you might grow tired of explaining why you moved...

  8. Thanks to everyone who left advice. After thinking about what is best for my career and relative ease of coming back to the UK now and then, my wife has decided that Canada is the preferred option. My will is not my own.

  9. Hehe, gotta side with your wife on this one. Good luck with the move! Keep us updated, eh?

  10. How about the good old U.S. of A? It's big enough that there are plenty of different law enforcement agencies to choose from, plenty of different climates (both meteorological and politico/social), and you get to shoot back if your customers try to kill you. The only drawback for your wife is that all the women will be enchanted with your accent.

  11. I did think about the US, but it's nigh on impossible to a) get a visa as a Brit or b) join the police. With so many ex-servicemen and women joining the forces it's almost impossible. I'd be more worried about the attention my wife would get to be honest.

  12. Australia is better, but a few corrections to your list of pros and cons:

    It's not warm all-year-round, and not just because we moved to Victoria as people keep telling me. I've been further north in winter and it can still be cool at night until you get near the Tropic of Capricorn. But almost everywhere is warmer than the UK year round if that's good enough for you.

    The cost of living is not as low as migrants expect when they get off the plane. In relation to average wages it's probably not that different to the UK.

    If rugby league is your game you'll be happy, particularly in NSW or QLD. If it's Union then probably much less so since the coverage is piss poor. If you go to Victoria you will be expected to follow Aussie Rules Football and thought weird if you don't have an opinion on whether the Geelong Cats can make it to the finals unbeaten etc etc. It's just a Victorian thing, fake it if you have to.

    Some insects are large, most aren't, and it's probably the small ones that are dangerous - think mosquitoes and Dengue fever in the northernmost part of the country. The handful of large ones, and cockroaches are all I can think of off hand, are soft as shite. You might be right about the spiders though. And everything else.

    It's good though, it really is.

  13. Are there any blogs like this of officers from Australia/Canada? Officer Copperfield apart.

  14. I think in the North you're more likely to encounter this
    This is a nice guy I dont know who's kind enough to pass the time of day with me. I'll enjoy a moment of pleasant human interaction with them. A stranger is a friend you havent met yet after all. Thanks guys I like very much this blog.