I’m an Intelligence Support Officer for the Operations Centre and the focus of my role is to complete intelligence packages for POLIT to identify those who share or create indecent images of children.
My biggest achievements would be coming top ten in the country for my artwork at A level, showcasing my design work at the museum of London and getting my degree.
I love fashion and often make clothes in my spare time.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love the fact that I genuinely can see the difference I make in protecting children and vulnerable people. I also enjoy being able to utilise my skills to identify those offenders who would perhaps not come to light if it wasn’t for the work in my team.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
It is so important to value difference and inclusivity in the workplace. In my experience, working with a range of people from different backgrounds means that staff and officers can bring their different life experiences to the table. Their insight can prove valuable on diversifying the workplace and making sure that all the people of Essex are represented.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
For me, I perceived my disability to be a huge barrier to joining Essex Police. I initially attended a recruitment event to support my twin who was interested in becoming an officer and I never thought there would be a job within the force that could accommodate someone with complex health needs like myself. I was shocked to find out quite how diverse Essex Police are and how many staff roles and opportunities there are for all. The only barrier was my own preconception.
I particularly find an issue for me is that often I appear ‘normal’ and my disability is invisible until it flares up and some days, I need a walking aid. My line manager and wider department have been so fantastic though at learning about my condition and how they can support me in such a kind and professional way. I have the support I need without feeling like my disability defines me and as such I’m able to pursue a career I can only have dreamed of.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
When valuing difference, it means the force can gain the perspective of all those it represents and serves. Those people with different life experiences and perspectives are able to provide suggestions to the way we work and improve practises which ultimately focuses on providing a better service to those we protect.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
The Disability Network and my current line manager/team have provided such a great support network for me. There are so many adjustments that have been made to ensure I am comfortable and can work to the best of my ability. I use flexitime which can help me to manage my good and bad days, I have a specific workstation set up with specialist equipment and software, a designated parking space and I am able to take medical appointments when needed. I also have a ‘flare up’ plan in place with my line manager which allows her to know more about my condition and how she can support me on my bad days if needed. It allows me to have some dignity and respect in the workplace. While my condition must be managed in every aspect of life, it is not a barrier to performing at work and is secondary to me as a person now.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
I can be creative and think outside of the box for solutions and we provide support to children who are at risk rather than looking to criminalise them.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
Don’t let your preconceptions about a potential ‘barrier’ stop you from applying – there is so much support in place and you are able to join Essex Police and make a difference. I also thought I would be judged unfairly or people’s opinion of me would be biased if I was to declare my disability – this couldn’t be further from the truth.