PC Grishm Patel
Tell us a bit about yourself
I work at Essex police as a Police Constable. Hailing from India it is an achievement for me to join the force and be part of it. I have worked all my life in banking and financial industry and business strategy and marketing. So, this was something new but I just wanted to fulfil my dads last wish. My hobbies are weird. I love music. I play a few instruments and sing. I have worked with dangerous animals like snakes and crocodiles for 15 years of my life rescuing them. I love to cook and love to ride horses.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The sense of belongingness and the team that I work with. I love the pride that I see in the eyes of my 9-year-old son when he tells his friends that his dad is a cop. I like that my family and community can proudly say that they have also contributed to the society by encouraging me to join the force.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
It is important because we believe that we grow by taking everyone with us. If we don’t include all then we can’t grow. It gives us various perspectives of different communities and helps us understand things that matter to them and how we can respect their culture and the difference. Its like SALT. Its presence is generally un-noticed, but absence is always felt.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
Of course, but not from the force, only my community. When I applied, my community as a whole thought that I would not get through and that is what happened the first time. I applied again and I got through. My community wasn’t very happy as they thought that we were useless and we were incompetent. They are now proud of me and their views have changed.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
I was given a buddy to help me through my recruitment and interviews. The we were given the best teachers for our course and now I work with the best team. What more could I ask.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
I can be myself and take initiative where I am comfortable, and I’m helped where I am not. I am made to feel like a valuable part of the team and am supported in every way, shape and form. They understand my being different but do not discriminate that I am an immigrant.
What advice would you give to anyone identifying as BAME thinking about joining Essex Police?
It is not a barrier being BAME, joining Essex Police. You need to believe in yourself and your values. Your difference is what makes you special. You are needed in the force to relate to the community. This is your opportunity to join the system to help tailor the system to fit and help everyone. You can either be part of the solution or be the problem. I remember someone told me something.
There are three kinds of people; ones who make things happen, ones who watch things happen and others who wonder what happened.
Pick your place and get on with it.