Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Job No. 53 - Force Arson Reduction Officer

I was browsing the USA variant of Monster this morning when I stumbled across two particularly gruesome jobs...

The first vacancy was for a Hand Packer with the recruitment agency Manpower - a job whose primary skills were listed as 'inspecting, sorting and packaging' - but I didn't think it was really quite the job for me. As anyone who has ever received a present from me will readily testify, my packaging skills usually involve covering said present in a tangled mess of paper and then using thick swathes of sellotape in order to prevent the present from being opened without the use of an oxycetelene torch...and I'm sure hands are nothing if not difficult to pack...

The second vacancy, and very much along similar lines, was for a Hand Sorter working for Ocean Spray. I can only deduce the harvesting process of cranberries is such a haphazard one that they need to employ people to remove the variety of digits that accidentally end up amongst the fruit. However, even this seemed to require a level of manual dexterity several levels above mine - you see, I'm all fingers and thumbs when it comes to things like this...

So, instead, I took the advice of Nellie who posted a comment suggesting that I apply for the position of Force Arson Reduction Officer with Thames Valley Police.

Obviously arson has gotten to be such a large problem within the Thames Valley Police that they've decided they need to hire a full-time employee dedicated to stamping it out - and I say, it's about time. For far too long police officers have been able to get away with acts of wanton arson - and being bored, or having nothing to do and nowhere to go, is simply not an acceptable excuse...

There is a feeling amongst some police forces that a degree of arson is to be expected from their officers and they're prepared to turn a blind eye to minor acts, such as setting fire to wheelie bins or throwing fireworks into people's front gardens, as long as they don't escalate into more serious acts involving people, pets or major government buildings (or, indeed, any combination of these three). But, clearly, Thames Valley Police want to take the lead in tackling this problem and aim to show that they are not prepared to tolerate firebrands on their team...

In my personal statement, I hoped I would come across as an individual who wouldn't tolerate any kind of arsonist tendencies within serving police officers:

I believe I could assist Thames Valley in reducing the incidence of arson within its force area by acting to inform those who are thinking about committing such acts of the danger it can pose to themselves and others, and also trying to make them understand that just because they're at a loose end and are looking for something interesting to do, doesn't justify setting fire to something.

Too many police forces aren't tackling this problem with enough priority and, unless this type of programme is mirrored across the country then the dangers posed by arson are only likely to increase - without a comprehensive policy to stop this dangerous behaviour, I can only assume officers will continue to see a rise in this type of behaviour.

I also think that acting to catch potential arsonists early on would be beneficial - perhaps using the existing teaching network to point out any pupils that they feel are showing these types of tendencies. There are some police forces who consider this to be a low priority, as long its force is dealing with more visible crime, but I think Thames Valley should be congratulated for its endeavours in this area.


I'm sure that, if given the job, I will be able to find ways to reduce the incidence of police arson - hopefully by finding more productive activities for the police to channel their boredom and aggression into or give them somewhere to go so they're not just hanging around the streets all night looking for trouble...

3 comments:

Myst said...

Hi Oliver,

I think it's great you're doing this! I have been looking for work for 9 months...in the USA...NO DOLE...and worked some odd jobs like packing for people who are moving house. I've also started my own freelance business (no I am NOT a Ho for Hire!).

The hardest thing besides paying rent is keeping your sense of humour, so thank you, I'll be following your exploits...

Anonymous said...

Best job title seen today (and I wasn't even trying) - 'Sandwich Artist' at the local branch of Subway. I'm sure a man of your creative talents would do well here, especially if you sent them some portfolio samples.

Oliver Davies said...

Myst - glad you're enjoying the blog!

Anonymous - wish I knew your name so I could thank you for recommending a job I ended up applying for!!