I am currently working as Staff Officer to Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan. Previously, I was working as an Inspector on the Local Policing Team (LPT) at Harlow, but I am also trained in Public Order to Inspector level.
My best achievement at work would be when I attended a mental health incident where a woman was planning on ending her life. After building rapport, she allowed me within the premises and eventually, after a lot of persuasion, she allowed someone to give her medical attention. I was proud on that occasion that no one got seriously hurt and I believe my conversation with her on that day really did stop her from ending her life.
I also created an improvement plan for dealing with domestic violence at Harlow LPT which led to the team achieving the best solved rate of any local policing team force wide.
My best achievements at home would be being a mummy to two amazing children (aged 10 and 13) and watching them grow to be confident, spirited and amazing young ladies! I am proud that I have managed to maintain my career and a social life whilst being a mum and that although it has not been easy at times, I have taught them a positive work ethic for their futures.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Staff Officer – Working closely with and learning from so many inspirational officers. After spending the vast majority of my career working operationally as a response officer, it has been invaluable to learn from Command Teams and Chief Officers and improve my strategic knowledge.
Public Order – I came to Public Order policing relatively late into my career (two and a half years ago) because I had small children at home and was worried about duty changes and long shifts previously, but it was something that I have always wanted to achieve.
Since being trained, I have found that this is my favourite aspect of policing and that the shift changes were not as bad as I ever thought they would be! There is usually notice for planned operations and if childcare is a problem there is understanding around this too.
Public Order is the area where you can really see the team/family mentality with your colleagues. It’s where everyone comes together to complete the task set and you know that your unit will always have your back. The training course as an Inspector was one of my favourite courses because it allowed me to use all the tools I had learned over the years regarding swift decision making to achieve the goal we needed to achieve. Even if I did have a sore throat from shouting at the unit by the end!
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
It is important to value difference at work because different life experiences bring different ideas and ways of dealing with a situation.
In my life outside of work, I love learning about cultures, traditions, and practices that are different to me and ensuring I also expose this knowledge to my children.
I want my children to grow up without ignorance and to realise that difference is such an amazing thing to embrace!
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
Confidence was a big barrier for me. I have always had a severe disbelief in myself, do not believe praise given and always worry that I am not doing a good enough job or that I will be found out as not being good enough. Some call this the ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and to this day this follows me.
Although, over the years I have gotten better at recognising that it is my confidence that is the problem and not my ability!
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
Everyone has a valuable role to play in the organisation! I have worked some amazingly diverse teams where most of the team were from a different nationality, different sexuality, different gender etc. and it is the differences that those teams had that made them such wonderful teams! Everyone brings to the team their own strengths and weaknesses and their own very unique skills.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
I have had some amazing supervisors over the last 10 years who, having recognised my confidence issues, have really pushed, supported and championed me and helped me to achieve what I have today. I have even been sent on a ‘Confidence Workshop’ to assist with improving my confidence.
I became a member of the WLDF (Women’s Leadership Development Forum) and having been so blown away by the support they show and the amazing events they put on I volunteered to become part of the executive team. I am now the local policing representative in the support network and have helped to arrange events such as the International Women’s day event 2020.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
That custard creams never last long at a Chief Officer meeting!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
If you want to be a Police Officer then do it! You will find the most amazing colleagues who become like family. The support and guidance you get from everyone including supervisors and the support networks is amazing and they will help you grow. It really doesn’t matter what gender you are, how tall you are, what background you are from or who you are, as long as you care, can show empathy and have a drive to make a difference in the community, you will do the job amazingly.