DI Tracy Seagroatt
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a Detective Inspector and work in the Professional Assessment Team at Essex Police College. We assess and support all newly promoted Sergeants and Inspectors to complete a policing qualification to enhance their supervisory and management skills over a 12-month period of work-based assessment.
I have had several roles in my 25 years in policing, I’ve been a Detective for most of my career, working in Professional Standards, CID, Covert policing and Child Abuse, Sex Offences and Domestic Abuse investigations. I am a qualified trainer and assessor.
I am the Co-Chair of the Essex Police Disability Network which supports those members of staff and police officers who have a disability or difficulty or care for someone who does.
I am also a keen runner (keener than accomplished!), I sing in the local community choir and am a practicing Buddhist.
I have two grown up children and a beautiful 18-month-old grandson who I am besotted with.
I also identify with being on the Autism Spectrum.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Both in my ‘day job’ and my involvement with the Disability Network I really enjoy helping people to achieve their potential, meeting staff and officers that I wouldn’t ordinarily meet, hearing their inspirational stories.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
Because it’s just the right thing to do. We have a great responsibility when working for the police – and a great deal of power in some circumstances. Understanding others needs and creating a space where people feel safe and in control of what happens to them is everyone’s responsibility, particularly in the police.
The slogan ‘we value difference’ is a brave one, it shows Essex Police is willing to listen and take responsibility for making positive change for its staff and the communities we serve.
Inclusivity brings a richness and fullness to an organisation; it takes account of people’s strengths and doesn’t define them by their perceived weaknesses. It’s a long road but this is a great start.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
For me it was around childcare. In those days we had residential training and being away for 14 weeks was tough. I wasn’t aware then that I was autistic and had 23 years in before I found out. There were some tough times but if I had known then that I was on the spectrum, I could have taken advantage of the workplace adjustments that we provide now.
Being a woman in the police was tough in the early days, but it’s much better now and it’s so great to see women attaining Chief Officer roles in Essex Police.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
I have had support from supervisors and some great managers. I have also spoken to our occupational health and welfare department on a few occasions and they have been a huge help to get me well and back to work.
There are some great wellbeing sessions going on at the moment and the ‘Live well, feel well’ courses have provided the tools to help me bring balance to my life, learn about coping mechanisms when it gets a bit tough and build in emotional, psychological and physical resilience.