Have you ever wondered what policing in Merseyside is like?
Our Observer Scheme offers the opportunity to spend time with police officers and staff from different teams, units and parts of the force.
Designed to give you first-hand experience, you’ll see what it’s like to be a police officer or member of police staff in our force and find out more about how we police. Importantly the scheme gives us the opportunity to hear your feedback as a member of the community.
You can spend time with a police officer on shift, patrolling Merseyside’s streets, or visit specialist units in the force like the Cannabis Dismantling Team or the force Control Room where we take emergency calls. We have the oldest Mounted Unit in the country that you can visit to find out more about why we have our horses and the important work they do for the force. Whatver you are interested in, get in touch and ask.
Why do we offer this scheme?
It is vital for us that we provide the opportunity for members of our community to see and experience how we, on a daily basis, work as One Team to put the needs of our communities first in everything we do. We want to build trust and foster a closer working relationship between us and the communities we serve and a great way of doing this is for us to get to know you and your concerns and for you to get to know what we do and why we do it.
If you’re interested in a career with Merseyside Police the scheme will also give you insight into the wide range of roles available in the force for police officers and staff.
Who is it for?
It is open to anyone aged 18 years or over who wants to take part.
You'll need to fill in an application form and pass a force vetting check. Get in touch with Engagement Officer Barbara [email protected] to request a form or to ask any questions you may have.
How do I apply?
Contact Engagement Officer Barbara Yates [email protected] who will send you the application form.
There are several reasons people take part in the Observer Scheme; you may have an interest in a specific department or area of policing and want to find out more about how it works, you may want to find out more about how we work to help us provide the best possible service to our communities, or you may want to become a police officer or employee of Merseyside Police and so want to find out more about working for the force.
Or perhaps you have been a victim of crime and want to find out more about the force’s prevention work and how we work with and support victims.
No. You will have a high-viz jacket/waterproof with “Community Observer” on the back of it to distinguish you from police officers.
If you are interested in visiting a specific department, you will need to travel to where that department is based. However, if you opt to spend the day with a police officer on patrol, you will be given an option of one of the Local Policing teams and their subsequent stations, depending on availability and resources.
No. Prior to the day you will receive instructions from us which will outline venue/times etc. On the day of your visit, you will be given a full briefing by the officer or staff member looking after you so you know exactly how your visit will run.
No equipment will be needed. You will be provided with a light weight hi-viz jacket to wear over your normal coat that will identify you as an observer.
You would be asked to withdraw to a place of safety. If the officer needs to transport a prisoner in the vehicle, alternative transport will be found for you.
You will need to bring some form of photographic ID with you on the day. As you will be spending either half a day or a full day with a team, it is recommended that you bring refreshments with you, as well as any personal medication that you may require.
No. Risk assessments are in place for the different departments you will visit. These along with instructions from the police officer or staff member you are with are designed to keep you safe.
No. Although Common Law allows people to assist in detaining people who are known to have committed an offence, we do not allow it for your protection from possible litigation as well as your personal safety whilst an observer.
Yes. Every person who spends time on police premises needs to be vetted. This is similar to a Criminal Records check.
Yes. Vetting is completed in a different way to the DBS checks. If you pass vetting for the Observer Scheme, it does not necessarily mean you will pass vetting to work for Merseyside Police as the vetting is different depending on the role you are applying for.
Yes. We do not have an exhaustive list of convictions/cautions that would stop you from taking part in the Observer Scheme. Each application is looked at individually and a decision will be made depending on certain factors, for example, what the conviction was, how long ago the incident happened and your age at the time of the offence.
It would inevitably give you some knowledge about the force which may support any future applications but it would not in itself form part of evidence needed to show competence in a role being applied for.