Having recently completed my training, I’m now on the Local Policing Team in Grays, responding to 999 calls and learning more about the job.
Since joining Essex Police I have found a sense of belonging – not just belonging to a little social group, but a larger policing family.
My biggest achievement so far is passing my exams. I’ve never been the most academic person, but I’ve always wanted to learn and have a career I was proud of.
I have recently taken up boxing, which has been an aspiration of mine since I was young.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
My role so far has been to learn as much as I can! Policing is an ever-evolving career and I can already see that there are so many different pathways that I would love to apply my skills to in the future.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
For me being inclusive not only helps people like me feel that we are safe, but it gives up a place to feel like we belong.
I remember, even from a very young age, I saw in the media that people who looked like me were ‘bad people’ or ‘villains’. During my teens, my eyes were opened to this discrimination even more. I felt like I was pressured into becoming someone I didn’t want to be, just because of the colour of my skin.
Being treated with negativity even though I tried to be just a ‘normal member of society’ was an awful feeling.
With the past decade, so much has come around to help people like me be lifted up and not feel like we are always at a disadvantage. Now, I’ve been welcomed into a field of work that has a challenging relationship with people from my background.
It’s heart-warming to see that society is changing and so is Essex Police.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
I was worried that my education would hold me back.
I don’t have a degree, and I always had a disproportionate view that people with degrees were able to get better jobs. I had to work from the age of 18 to support myself, so it just wasn’t an option for me.
That, plus my ethnicity, made me worry that a role in the police force was way out of my league.
I’m glad that it was only my own insecurities that were holding me back, and I’d encourage anyone else with concerns to apply.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
Essex Police has not only supported me, but also many others get into the force.
My help was through the buddy system. This was a dedicated officer or staff member who kept in contact with me throughout the application process to ensure I had all the information I needed and gave me a greater insight into what I was to expect of the job. It was invaluable.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
Lots of people don’t know that Essex Police hold lots of events for charity! This is really important to me as we all live in the community, and we should not just walk past someone who is at a disadvantage.
This is such a rewarding career, as you get to make real change to peoples’ lives and help some of the most vulnerable members of society.
What advice would you give to anyone identifying as black, Asian or an ethnic minority thinking about joining Essex Police?
Do it! Honestly just apply. Even if you don’t feel like you’re good enough, your life experiences can always help someone else.
As someone who has suffered from racial abuse in the past, nothing feels more satisfying then proving someone wrong by making something of yourself.
Stop listening to people saying you are nothing, or that you’re just the typical stereotype. You are so much more!