I am a Detective Superintendent working in the south of the county. In my current role I have oversight of our CID teams, our domestic abuse investigators, local intelligence teams and our new Disruptor team. I have worked in Detective roles for most of my career. I have had a wide variety of roles but found it particularly rewarding and interesting working in our Crime and Public Protection Command; there I spent time in our MOSOVO team (management of sexual offenders), POLIT (our online investigation team), adult sexual abuse and child abuse investigation teams.
Outside of work, I am a hugely proud wife and mum to two children. My daughter is 12-years-old and my son is seven. Rest days and spare time are all about being together as a family; lots of mum’s taxi duties to various clubs, but also having as many adventures as possible. We love to travel (when we’re allowed!), cook, be outdoors and find as many unusual things to do as possible!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
My current role is new to me, but in all my roles one thing I have always been passionate about is staff development. I like supporting people in whatever way I can to achieve what they want to and to recognise their own potential.
I also love that I have a wide range of responsibility and have quite a broad background, so I can share the experiences I’ve had and bring teams across different commands together to give a more efficient service to people.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
In the work I do, I see how different people approach the same problem in different ways. In my current command team, we all have very different personalities and backgrounds and it’s interesting to see how that impacts on the decisions we make.
The same applies in and out of the workplace. Essex is a large county and we are lucky that we have some diverse communities with in it. In the role I have just left I have oversight of our Community Policing Teams and this really emphasised to me just how important it is to understand and recognise how different the needs are of individual communities.
It is human nature to engage more naturally with people you have something in common with. That’s why it is so important that our workforce represents the community we serve. We hope that this campaign will give people an idea of how diverse and open Essex Police already is and that people will see how much we want to break down barriers and work through the issues that prevent people from wanting to join the service.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
I had no concerns about my gender when I applied to join Essex Police. At the time I was young, single and child-free, so some of the things that might have concerned me didn’t affect me at the time. I can honestly say though that being a parent or being a woman has never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
We need to value difference to ensure we have a well-supported workforce that have opportunities and flexibility, and to be able to deliver a service that all members of our community can relate to. As individuals we all have our own stories to tell; our personalities and the way we deal with situations is shaped by all those things. Where we live, what we believe, our experiences and our challenges all inform how we approach a problem. Police officers and staff face new challenges every day, so the more diverse our work force is, the more likely we are to find a way to approach the challenge.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
Over the years I have had career chats and I have always felt clear about where I could look for wider support. In the past I was a little nervous about engaging with the Women’s Leadership and Development Forum, and maybe put up a bit of a defensive barrier, as I wanted to be proud to say my achievements were my own. I have a much clearer understanding now that there is a big difference between overcoming barriers to get to the starting line and giving somebody an unfair advantage over another. Our networks are for everyone, and now I see that being involved is helpful to other people that might be thinking about a particular role or getting promoted as I can talk about my own experiences.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
I am lucky that my role means I can be involved with such a wide range of incidents. My teams investigate complex crimes, safeguard vulnerable people, disrupt organised criminals and county lines and so much more.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
If you have been thinking about applying, do it. There is no other job that will give you the variety, the stimulation, the opportunities or the sense of reward that policing will. There are so many different roles and dimensions to policing that people don’t know about. If you have been worrying about something that might be a barrier, talk t somebody about it. The chances are, if it is a concern for you, it will have been for somebody else. Essex Police is genuinely flexible and is really invested in making sure we attract the right people to serve the county.