WMPeople: PC Rhyddian Perrins

WMPeople: PC Rhyddian Perrins, Operational Support Unit 

·       Rhyddian is 55 and joined us in 2005 after deciding on a career change 
·       He became part of OSU ten years ago and says he’s never looked back 
·       He was awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation for his role in the August 2011 riots


Ryyddian Perrins
Rhyddian Perrins

The day starts with…

A nice cuppa and a general catch up with the team. We chat about the week ahead such as planned jobs and warrants.  Then we have a daily briefing when we’re given our first job of the day which can be anything from a search of a premises or an open area, Taser deployment, method of entry – or many other things. 

I’m responsible for…

The general maintenance of various items of kit. As an OSU officer, we’ve many different roles and we acquire many specialist skills. We all have a responsibility to maintain the equipment so we can do our job. As part of the Water Search Team I’ve a very keen interest in this area and enjoy making sure that all the kit is serviceable and ready for any spontaneous deployment. 

I joined up….

After spending 22 years in the commercial industry I fancied a career change and joined the force in 2005, aged 40. I worked on a response team to start with which was great fun. Then I attended an OSU open day and I soon realised that this was the job for me. I was able to have two attachments with the department and did lots on my rest days. This gave me the insight and opportunity to decide if this was the role for me. It was and my mind was made up and I joined OSU in 2010. 

The department is…

Very demanding and no two days are the same. We’re a resource covering the entire West Midlands and we’re occasionally deployed out of force area to assist other agencies.  Flexibility is essential as our shifts can be changed at very short notice and, at times, it has felt like I spend more time with work colleagues than my own family. It’s a disciplined role but very rewarding.  My specialist roles include chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear (CBRN), Disaster Victim Identification, water search, Taser, local support officer (LSO) and boat operative.

I got here…

Following a change in my career path, but it wasn’t easy. You need to be dedicated and keen to be part an existing working team. Work life balance can be hard at times and very challenging. But the role is extremely interesting and rewarding. 

My typical day…

After our morning briefing, we wait for our first job of the day. A large percentage of the role is searching but this is varied. It can change from one crime scene to another. It can go from a search after a firearms incident to a high-risk missing person. We go from job to job. Our next job could be a water search with a boat deployment. We have numerous jobs a day. They’re all different. 

My most memorable moment…

This is hard to answer because there’s lots of memorable moments. One that springs to mind is when I received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for my role policing the riots in August 2011. Also, being confirmed as a police constable in front of my family was a proud moment and memorable for me. I’d say that having a significant find during a search can be very rewarding too, especially when it leads to a conviction in court.

The best part of the job…

Camaraderie plays a key part in our department and it certainly helps to talk to each other when dealing with tragic incidents. I enjoy working with the team and consider them to be more than colleagues. 

The worst part of the job…

Is the feeling of being constantly at work and, unfortunately, sometimes this means sacrificing family time. It can have an impact on your social life too with shift changes at short notice and being called in on rest days. My wife, who is an ex-police officer, is very understanding and supportive which is key to that happy work-life balance. There are lots of positives, you just need to be very flexible.

If I didn’t do this job…

I’d spend more time with family and pursuing my hobbies that include fishing, keeping fit and generally drinking more tea!

If you're inspired and fancy a career change, we're recruiting. Details here: https://jobs.west-midlands.police.uk/

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