Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Matthew Smith, I’m 36 years-old and im 5.7. Ive worked for Essex Police since November 2014, in the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) currently as a Senior Co-ordinator.
My role at Essex Police is to safeguard the most vulnerable members of the public by locating, assessing and disclosing risks found by using Police intel systems. This can sometimes then lead to a disclosure of information being made on the final DBS certificates of applicants for those wanting to work in regulated activity which in turn helps employers to make well informed safeguarding decisions. I’m a west ham supporter, I enjoy watching films and going to the cinema. Im very much into my DIY and Currently learning how to tile!
One of my personal biggest achievements whilst working for Essex Police has been holding the temporary post of DBS Assistant Unit Manager for a period of 1.5 years up until June 2020. During this time, I held direct responsibility for the disclosure of information with the powers of Chief Officer Delegate. During this time, I made over 200 disclosures of relevant and proportionate information which I believe helped to keep the most vulnerable members of Essex safe.
Outside of work I believe the transferable skills I have learnt whilst at Essex Police and my awareness of the wellbeing and safety of others has led to me being more emotionally aware and thoughtful towards others. During the summer I was in my garden when I heard repeat shouts for help from what turned out to be an elderly neighbour in the next street. I attended the address that I thought the shouts were coming from and upon identifying myself climbed over the neighbour’s back gate and fence (with the help of a wheelie bin) to find cries coming from the bathroom. Upon entering the house via the open back door, I approached the bathroom whereby I identified an elderly lady in her 90’s who had become stuck in her shower with the heavy glass door having come away from the hinges, trapping her inside. Luckily at this point my housemate and, also a member of Essex police staff Samantha Brighton, arrived at the address and, we begun our rescue attempt. I spoke with the lady and calmed her down, and once I was able to lift the heavy glass door and free the lady, Sam was then able to protect the ladies modesty, and we assisted her into her bedroom, whereby we calmed her and made sure she was ok. After some time and once the lady had assured us, she was ok we left her in the comfort of her dressing gown. Without the experiences and better knowledge of safeguarding from my time at Essex Police I don’t think I would have been able to assist this lady when she needed help.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love the fact that my job allows me to help people and safeguard the local community.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
There is so much to be learnt from each other. Everyone experiences things differently with different opinions, thoughts and feelings. Which is a great thing. The ability to discuss and understand someone else’s views is a vital skill to be able to learn, both inside and outside of work. There are countless opportunities to experience and learn from working with a diverse group of people. From a work prospective we all work to once common set of goals but are from many different backgrounds and have different ways to achieve those goals. The more inclusive and diverse we become as a police officer force the more, we will be able to understand and represent those we are set to protect and serve.
How do you think Essex Police values difference?
In my experience Essex Police protects and values its staff and their differences and unique characteristics. As a manager in Essex Police I have been involved in many situations, each one unique to the individual it related to but no one more important then the next. These situations have allowed me to grow as a person and become a better manager having a wider and more in depth understanding of difference. There are several specifics groups, welfare services, health services and support services, all of which work together, in my experience, to support and promote people and their differences. Essex police have a diverse range of staff in roles across the force with no one job suitable for only one specific person.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
The DBS is actually based in Liverpool, with each Police force having its own department working as the link between the two making sure safeguarding is covered across the country.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
For anyone thinking of joining Essex Police, be it as an officer or staff member, my simple piece of advice would be to not get hung up on your own worries and anxieties. Everyone has them. No one is the same everyone is different. Essex Police already has a range of staff made up from a diverse background and abilities, each bringing something different to the team and making us better for it.