Winter Time….

Turns out I’m not going to be the new Commissioner of the Metropolis after all…

Writing the letter asking to leave the job was one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever done, I sat there at my desk thinking about everything that had happened to me in my service, the good times and the bad, I think there were more good than bad really. Being at the scene of so many memorable events, getting to do things that most people would never even think about. I included some short anecdotes in my resignation letter, I think it was one of the best things I’ve ever written… It was three pages long… I gave it to the Supt and walked out in tears, only one person in the office knew what I was doing and she quickly ushered me into my office for tea and the good biscuits, and we waited… The boss will be in any second I’m sure, and I have my defences ready, he won’t talk me out of it…

*knock knock*
“What, on Earth, is this Wint?”
“Erm, it’s a resignation letter Sir. See it says so at the top”
“Yes but why”
“There’s three pages of why right there Sir”
“I can’t accept it, no don’t interrupt me, I can’t accept a letter. There’s a form…”

Of course there is, there’s always a form… Said form has surprisingly little free space for me to put anything more than a few lines, so I printed the extra onto an MG11 and attached it to the back…

I guess he asked a good question, why? It’s one I’m still asking myself now and probably will for quite some time. Briefly, it broke me to see my troops sleeping on the floor of a police station, it broke my heart to tell someone special that I was having to cancel our trip out again because of work. And these are just the things that come off the top of my head.

I love my job, The Job, for some people it’s just a job, for others though it’s a way of life. The job defines them and there is nothing to them but the job, it’s all consuming at times. Guess which category I fall into?
How many times have I had to call or text to say I can’t come out, how many parties have I missed? I did it all with a smile though (mostly) because I was in love with policing. I get to drive fast cars, and do cool things and I get paid for it. How many people can say that? I used t wake up excited about going to work, if I’d slept at all which sometimes was rare…

But for all of us there comes a time when the job asks too much, when it makes you late for something that’s too important to ask forgiveness for. And also, I am physically wrecked, I need a role where the temptation to do loads and loads of overtime isn’t there, I don’t know how to switch off, I don’t know if my new job is the right thing. Policing is the only job I’ve ever had, it’s all I know how to do and I find myself doing it instinctively now. But I’ve done it to the detriment of my physical health, and my mental wellbeing so now it’s time to make the break into the big wide world outside the nick.

I have a new job that means I can use many of my existing skills, means I will still get to see some amazing things and be one of the people who are on the frontline of something. I will even still have a badge. Just means I will work from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday and spend occasional days away during the year travelling.

This was a very hard decision to make, I think it’s the right one though. I hope it’s the right one…

Turns out policing ends just how it started, by filling out a form.



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32 responses to “Winter Time….

  1. It sounds like a well-measured, considered response to a role you sound increasingly disillusioned with. Many thanks for your service and indeed the blog that gave some of us an insight into a profession we take for granted 🙂 All the best.

  2. A moving tribute to the years in the Police. My daughter is six years into her Police career, her husband is also an Officer and I fully understand all you say about disrupted personal life and the toll it takes on families. I hope it does not wreck her health. I wish you all the best in your new job, and hope you really enjoy your new life too,

  3. Dave Thomas

    It is the right decision and for the right reasons. It is too short a life and you know that when you leave your office you will be forgotten about by the majority very quickly

  4. You are a measured individual who has made a measured decision. I applaud your service and wish you well in your new job. Please keep blogging. #keepsmiling!

  5. MrsRuralSgt

    Wow, a powerful blog. so simple yet it means so much. Must have been an incredibly hard thing to do. Hats off to you for doing it for the right reasons though. I hope Twitter and the blogging word don’t lose you too.
    It’s a sad day to see good people leave because of the conditions of policing…#noconfidenceintheresamay

  6. sfooty1

    An astonishing insight into how you really feel. Unfortunately there are a lot of officers who are suffering the same strain on their work/life balance and know they are getting no support from the govt or management. However due to being too far into their careers (pension wise) don’t feel they are in a position to make the same brave decision as you. I wish you all the best in your new career.

  7. Another excellent and moving blog, I can understand the sentiment and the reasons for you leaving, pastures new etc, The service expects a lot, the politicians demand more for less and the public use and abuse the service

    All the best for the future and enjoy the memories of the job

  8. Jax

    I know how hard it must have been to do that, but I also know that you will be a massive asset in your new post. The Police Force need officers like you, but unfortunately, they are increasingly unable to keep you all. I can understand your reasons for leaving and you know you have my unwavering support for your new venture. It made my heart sad and heavy to read, but it also made me angry that you and your colleagues have been made to feel this way as sadly, I know you are not alone. It’s never an easy decision to leave a job you love, but there comes a point where you have to put yourself first. That time is now! I wish you all the love and luck in the world, but I know you won’t need much. You will be a massive loss to the Force my friend. x

  9. A very moving post…simple yet powerful. I can understand your reasons for leaving, yet feel saddened that the Force has lost a fine officer, and sadly, I fear that you will not be the last. From my own experience, in times to come you will question your decision….`What if…?`..but you have done it for the right reasons. Many thanks for your service, and best of luck in your new career.

  10. @alphatreblesix

    A very moving piece, your last comment about starting and ending with a form brought a tear.
    I wish the very best for you in the future.

  11. Dan

    Best of luck in your future career. Good blog, too.

  12. Anonymous

    I retired from the job after 32 years (all but), 7 years ago. I’ve now adjusted to the world outside but it took a while and not thinking it through scrambled my brain for a while. If you’re sensible and have other interests in live, be it golf, origami, whittling or whatever it probably won’t be a problem. Not thinking it through and thinking you won’t miss the hassle and buzz would be a mistake though. I wish you well as you move on but learn from an idiot who got it wrong.

  13. Jim

    Thank you , and good luck in your new job .

  14. Anonymous

    The job takes it toll. But we need to look after ourselves. Ive written a book for all police officers and hope that we can regain some of that happiness in work, happiness that the job doesnt deliver.

  15. PC Lightyear

    Good luck Guvnor

    You lucky bas…….

  16. JW

    Good luck mate.

    Thank-you for being so dedicated.

  17. Anonymous

    I was one of the A19’d officers at the end of April 2011 after 30 1/2 years. I had already semi decided to leave – but at a time that it was going to suit me. That decision was taken out of my hands. I am now retired and missing my colleagues (most of them) and the ‘family’ that I once had. However as I speak with my ex-colleagues who are still in the force the vast majority are champing at the bit to leave as the continued stress imposed by the Government is slowly killing the once strong spirit of the force(s). What you say is so simplistically accurate – form filling to join and even more to leave, Never more has an individual been made to feel like a number than in the current climate. The individual’s existance is just a blot on the re-scheduling programme for others to replace them with and figures to be adjusted. I wish you well in your new life Mr Winter – there is life after ‘The Job’ although the transition is not easy especially in this current climate. Stay safe and strong and one day people will realise what your contribution to society really means. xXx

  18. Well, that was a shock but clearly the right decision. I work with many disillusioned officers & those who don’t eat well or are constantly tired & The Job is all consuming. I’m glad you’ve put yourself first & I wish you all the best in your 9-5, enjoy yourself & know you made a difference. xx

  19. Stressedoutcop

    As long as it’s not a knee jerk then Well Done to you and Good Luck.
    Another Stress Monkey? Hope the stresses float away and you find your peace.


  20. It is a shame you are leaving the “job”, though we are on opposite sides of the “system’s” fence, I have been following you on twitter and you have the sort of humour required to make the job bearable to yourself and others with whom you may make contact.

    Some polie officers think Defence bods are the enemy and treat us as such and officers like you are few and far between.

    Good luck in your future role.

    Robert Hardy-McBride

  21. NPTbod

    Good luck in whatever you’re doing. I only wish senior bods would listen to rank and file.

  22. Oh boy. I only just found this amazing blog in the aftermath of the London riots, and now you’re leaving. Sad I didn’t get to know you better! I wish you all the best for your chosen future, and thank you for your service…

  23. You’ve worked on your shift for a couple of years now and you’ve shared many experiences with your work colleagues, some positive and some negative. Used to the taste of adrenaline, the late nights and early mornings become part of your routine, incidents pass and go and policing becomes your world view. You’ve come along way and made many adaptations to the stresses and strains of modern day policing. You notice that one of your colleagues is slowly changing, a little abrupt at minor incidents, avoiding work at all costs, a little heavy handed in the custody suite, always blaming someone else. You talk to them, they’re restless in their voice and body language and unable to talk. Rumours begin to form and the locker room is full of un-helpful gossip, but deep down you know that something is wrong. Your concerned, you can see a pattern forming. Outbursts of anger, complaints from the public and sometimes reckless behaviour. The shifts performance begins to deteriorate and your colleagues are dreading working another day with officer x. You talk to your supervisor, she just can’t see it, it’s the same old rhetoric ‘failing disciplinary standards’ but you’ve seen it all before. Your colleague is woefully stressed. You talk to your colleague, but he denies that he is stressed, he’s far too strong to admit needing help. What’s your next step? Concerned, yes, because you know he’s a good copper.
    Morale Matters – A police officers guide to reducing stress and improving morale in the workplace. Available from or Amazon UK.
    Written by a south wales police officer for the fine and outstanding men and women that you are!

  24. Sierra Charlie

    I know exactly how you feel.

  25. Andy

    One of the best blog posts I’ve ever read. Best of luck with the new job.

  26. Porcelain Patrol

    So guvnor, how is life outside the job?
    Are you settling in to your new role? Can you tell us what it is?

    Whatever the answers, rest assured that the met is poorer by your absence, good coppers are always in demand.

    Incidentally, as someone who is also about to resign, I’ve realised you’re not joking about the bloody form…

  27. Anonymous

    Hello, I need to speak to you urgently about a BBC production somewhat similar to the play at the Tricycle Theatre. PLease contact me on 07785 790 560 or ASAP. It’s Weds 16th May. Thanks!

  28. Pingback: Er… Um… Well… Er… The thing is… « The Monday Books Blog

  29. We always knew it was bogus, of course. Er… so… anyway…

  30. 999Spoon 9*

    Damn, beaten to it by Monday Books!

  31. Anonymous

    These are the fantasies of a twisted, delusional con man named Ellis Ward.
    This man has never been in the police force and has spent years conning people into believing his lies. All the while financing his warped fantasy life by leeching from unsuspecting women and commiting credit card fraud.

    Oh dear Ellis, you really do have a headful of bad wiring don’t you? You’re a lying worm who is beneath contempt. I hope they put you away for a while. You’re a parasite, taking advantage of people’s trust and good nature for your own bizarre gratification.

    4 police forces investigating you, your card is well and truly marked old son. What will you do now that the games are over? When your lies and personas have all been stripped away, what kind of “man” is left?

    Have fun finding out.

  32. Anonymous

    You are a fake “Inspector Winter”. Mr Ellis Ward. What a disgrace to the real heroes you purported to be!

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