Lee Patterson on Training and Policing Differences between Canada and the U.K.


How does police training differ in Canada from the United Kingdom? How do you make the change moving to a different country to join the police force? This week, we hear from Lee Patterson about training, the Stanley Cup Game 7 riots in 2011, and more.

Lee Patterson is a Staff Sargeant within Vancouver Police assigned to the Real Time Intelligence Centre Operations. He has experience policing in two countries and across 4 cities. In this episode, we spoke to Lee about his experience working in England, where up until 1992, police officers rarely carried a firearm. He also spoke to us about the 2011 riots after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final; he told us where he was and where it went wrong that night.

Lee explains how he used to be armed with a plastic gun and a wooden truncheon on duty in the U.K., and how he adapted to being an armed police officer during routine police work. In Patterson's experience, officers in the U.K. did not want to be armed with firearms, so much so that they would transfer if it were made a requirement. The cultural, tactical, and training differences were a fascinating and sometimes difficult obstacle for Lee, and his unique blending of experience lent itself to his becoming such a respected Staff Sargeant.

Lee was able to demonstrate his police work in 2011, when after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, riots broke out in Vancouver, B.C. Partly due to his recent experience representing Canada as the Chief Search Coordinator for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games securing the official athletes residences and game sites, and being a public order tactical advisor and commander in the entertainment area during the games, he acted quickly with the Vancouver PD to respond. Patterson spoke to the media in defence of police's lack of charges after the riots; many media outlets were comparing them to recent London riots, in which 1,000 suspects had been charged, compared to the 41 that had been charged in the Vancouver riots. His experience policing both areas lent credibility to their actions, and further demonstrated the great police work of the Vancouver PD.

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