Tell us a bit about yourself
I started my career with Essex Police as a Special Constable in Harlow when I was 19-years-old, progressing to a Sergeant after five years. After receiving a service medal in 2018, I hung up my volunteering boots to focus on my full-time job and being a single mum to my son.
I started in our Force Control Room in 2015 and loved it, before making the move to our Professional Standards Department (PSD) in 2017.
My biggest achievement outside of work is juggling work, looking after my son and still managing to get a bit of time to myself to see friends or get to the gym!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love being busy! I’ve never been one to sit around and not do anything, I’m always on the go, so I love a job that is busy and challenging – and it certainly is that in PSD.
My team are so supportive of me - the me that is a member of the team and, of course, the me that is a single mum. My managers push for me to succeed in my career and this really gives me the confidence to believe I can do anything that I put my mind to.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
The new campaign is a great way for those in underrepresented groups to have their voices heard and to encourage others in similar positions to pursue their dreams.
Being a diverse and inclusive force means we are gaining a wealth of knowledge from people of all different backgrounds which, in turn, will ensure we are assisting and serving our communities in the best possible way.
What we learn from our colleagues will help everyone to have more awareness and empathy towards others they will cross paths within their day-to-day work and home lives. This will result in better decision making and higher levels of performance, as well as increased ideas and innovative ways to serve the people of Essex.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
I did not come across any barriers joining Essex Police – either as a Special or as staff. I’ve never felt that my gender hinders my performance or development, and I’ve always been treated fairly in every role I’ve had.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
We need to value difference, because the community we serve is different – each and every person is unique, and the force employees need to mirror that community. That way, we can learn from each other, be it learning about different cultures and religions, or sexual orientation.
They say, “you learn something new every day” and I think having such a wide variety of people working for us enhances this. After all, you’re never too old to learn something new.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
I have recently started working flexi-time, which is a great support for me to get the best balance possible being a single mum. This is assisting me greatly, as my son has started school this month. Now I don’t have to worry so much about juggling school runs, getting into the office, and school holidays – I’m ready for whatever else this new chapter in my son’s life is going to throw at me!
I have also recently been assigned a mentor, who I am so grateful to have. She is there for me to talk to if I have any concerns, whether at work or at home, and she is there to support and develop me so I can progress in my career with Essex Police.
Similarly, I have recently joined the Women’s Leadership and Development Forum, and it is so inspiring to see so many women being recognised for their hard work and potential.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
I regularly speak to officers who are going through the complaints process and make sure I provide them with advice and guidance. We’re all human, so I work hard to put them at ease about the situation they find themselves in. Our department isn’t as scary as many think, and that we really do want to help as much as we can.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
Just go for it! I was so scared when I applied to be a Special Constable – I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, but it was the best decision of my life. I have grown so much as a person and learnt many different things from the public I’ve met when attending incidents, to the people I’ve worked alongside.
Essex Police isn’t just somewhere to work, it is a family. No matter who you are or where you work, your colleagues will become friends for life.
Now that I’m in this family, I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else, and I honestly wouldn’t want to.