DCI Hayley King
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a Detective Chief Inspector on Crime and Public protection where I am in charge of POLIT, MOSOVO, MAPPA and DBS. It’s a lot of acronyms, but it basically means that my teams work to safeguard vulnerable people from dangerous offenders.
I am been a single working mum for the last 14 years and managed to get promoted from Sergeant to DCI in that time. My biggest achievements are becoming a qualified detective and I am incredibly proud of my current job role, and of the people who serve in my teams. They are incredibly challenging jobs, dealing with some of the most horrible crime or managing threat, harm and risk posed by Essex’s most dangerous offenders, but that means this is some of the most rewarding work in the force.
I like to keep fit and I run fairly regularly. I like to meditate to relax. I am also a bit of a foodie (not during Covid) and I love to cook and eat out at fancy restaurants. My favourite so far is Marcus Wareing’s restaurant at The Berkeley. That was a really special treat!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love to hear about the fantastic results the teams achieve and the innovative and hard work all of my departments do. From the fantastic safeguarding the DBS team provide to the people of Essex to the offenders we have captured travelling to meet children for nefarious purposes and the dangerous offenders we manage to ensure minimal risk to the public.
Celebrating and giving personal thanks to individuals and teams is really rewarding.
I also like to develop people. I have worked incredibly hard to ensure that everyone has equality of opportunity to progress. I love individual mentoring and support, but also working with my colleagues to help and develop people for promotion processes.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
We police diverse communities. I grew up in east London, went to a normal comprehensive school and lived on a typical working class estate. I used to run at Ilford Athletics club and as a result my team and friend base was really diverse. I was really fortunate to be exposed to amazing and diverse role models and met and competed in competitions alongside Daly Thompson, Linford Christie, Tessa Sanderson, Fatima Whitbread and even run in the same relay team and went to the Notting Hill Carnival with former world triple jump record holder, Ashia Hansen. I probably didn’t even realise at the time, but the exposure to difference has helped me understand that difference is important, but the inclusivity of being part of that team, was even more so. This gave me a really excellent understanding of difference and the richness it can bring in the workplace and when working with members of the public.
In Crime and Public Protection, there is a far greater proportion of women than men. This is really apparent at Constable level but not so for higher ranks.
I have been working hard to ensure that equality of opportunity and the perceived blockers for onward progression are myth-busted away, to ensure that everyone who has a desire to progress, can do so.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
I didn’t feel there were any barriers for me joining Essex Police. I felt part of the team from the off. It was very different in 1998 and we had to stay away from home for 12 weeks to train. This has changed, which makes it much easier for single mums like me to consider a career in policing.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
I think it is really important that senior leaders speak about the difference they bring to the table, as it is not just about protected characteristics.
I think it’s fundamentally important to recognise we all bring different the skills and life experiences.
Like fingerprints, no two people are the same. Our experiences shape how we see the world – I know mine have.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
I have been really lucky to have an amazing family who have always been incredibly proud and supportive of me.
I have had support from my line management and I have worked with colleagues who support me.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
We have just secured £170,000 of funding for digital forensic equipment to help us identify and prevent crime. We are the forefront of policing in this way in the UK.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
Having a career in the police doesn’t mean you have to choose the job or your family, and it doesn’t make you a bad mum for wanting to do both.