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Advanced Riding Consultant
I started riding motorcycles in1985 on L plates as cheap transport for a year, I returned to riding when I passed my bike test in 1994. Riding was a leisure activity but I made myself ride in bad weather as I think that it improves your general riding skills.
Motorcycling was an on-off affair as bikes were a luxury rather than a necessity back then. I have owned many bikes from my first Yamaha RS100, Yamaha 535 Virago, Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster, Kawasaki ZZR600, Kawasaki GPz500, Honda VFR400, Cagiva Mito, Ducati Monster, Suzuki RF600, Suzuki TL1000S, Cagiva Elefant 900, Triumph 995i Sprint ST and Triumph 1200 Tiger Explorer. I have loved them all, sadly most had to give way to home improvements or the like at one time or another!
I became a police officer in 2001 always hoping to join the traffic unit. My career has seen me move from my initial role as response officer to tutor constable in 2005 and I also took up a training role for personal safety training later that year. I really enjoyed training others and find it really rewarding. I moved to the traffic unit in 2007.
In 2006 I took my first steps into Advanced Motoring gaining my Advanced Police Driver qualification, subsequently followed up with Tactical Pursuit and Containment, known as “TPAC” in the force.
My time in the Traffic Department has seen me qualify as an advanced vehicle examiner and in 2011 a Family liaison Officer for serious and fatal road traffic collisions. In 2015, I was a founding member of the first dedicated Family Liaison Unit in the UK. Since that time my main role in the police has been family liaison where I have supported over 140 families. This role allows me to see the importance of road safety regarding driver and rider training.
I was fortunate enough to be offered a standard police motorcycle course shortly after joining traffic. I passed that in 2010, followed shortly afterwards by an off-road motorcycle course.
In 2013 I passed my advanced police motorcycle course, which is a tough and demanding course. In 2019 I attended and passed the National Protection Police Escort course. This has allowed me to escort VIP’s, such as the Prime Minister and various members of the Royal Family when they visit our force area. Most recently in 2021 I was posted to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, where my team provided escort duties to the Royal Family and other dignitary personnel.
One of the most rewarding things about my police motorcycling is that I get to share the skills I have learnt with the public through Bike Safe and other training courses. This allows me to explain how, with some commitment and proper training an average biker like me, can attain a high level of competence and confidence on a motorbike.
Advanced riding not only teaches you bike control but also the information that you obtain and use. Such as, improved observation, better use of gears and speed, better bend assessment, acceleration sense and I feel. It greatly heightens your judgement, planning and decision making.
If you would have spoken to me before I had this training. I would have laughed at you if you told me I would have achieved the level I have, but with hard work anyone can improve and attain a high level of competence. All of the issues and confidence knocks that people get, I have had them too and I use those experiences to understand my students’ thoughts and fears. My understanding of my own errors, ensures I am able to help my students progress.
I realise that I have been fortunate to receive such a high level of training from some excellent instructors. I hope that I can help other riders improve their skills and keep them keen on motorcycling and safe on the road to really enjoy their own experience.
I have been recognised with numerous awards and commendations throughout my career.
From dealing with and disarming a suicidal person armed with a kitchen knife, my work as a personal safety trainer, several awards for my work as a family liaison offer including a nomination for a national BRAKE road safety family award.
I have also gained Team of the year award with my colleagues on the Family Liaison Unit.
In 2016 I received a Chief Constables award for being part of the team that provided Bike Safe courses.
However, one of my treasured possessions is a letter sent to our Chief Constable from Wing Commander “Harry” Palmer, Chief Flying Instructor and Examiner at the Defence Helicopter School, Shawbury, where he commended the Bike Safe course and thanked me for, and I quote, “really sharp coaching out on the roads”.
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