As of August 2020, I have been a student Police Constable with Essex Police; I made the decision to join up after an interesting and engaging career as a Special Constable that began in late 2019.
I am currently 19 years old and 6ft 7ins, but despite still being so young, I have a few achievements that I am proud of. One of these was being able to provide support to a victim of a serious case of domestic abuse. This means a lot to me as wanting to help victims of crime was a driving force behind my decision to join Essex Police.
In terms of accomplishments outside of work, I did form a team of volunteers to create and distribute resources to students in secondary schools that explained where they can go and what they can do if they are – or have been – subjected to bullying. The feedback from students that used these resources was overwhelmingly positive, and so that gave me an immense sense of accomplishment.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The thing I enjoy most about my role is knowing that everything I learn will be something that I could use to help people, keep people safe, and catch criminals; it’s not just senseless information, and it feels good to know that I could use what I learn to make a real difference in the communities we serve.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
Diversity and inclusion are extremely important both in and outside of the workforce for a number of reasons, one of which is the unique approach, viewpoints and ways of thinking that someone from a diverse background may possess. These could be extremely beneficial in providing insights into situations that some people may be unfamiliar with. In addition, it is unfair to exclude someone based (in any way) on the fact that they come from a diverse background; we are all human and failing to be inclusive could mean losing the unique skills and mindsets of individuals that would benefit the organisation and the communities it serves.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
There were no barriers for me to joining Essex Police, and the process was – in my opinion – fair and based entirely on suitability for the position.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
Valuing difference is important because excluding people based on certain characteristics such as height, gender, ethnicity, personality etc. could result in valuable skillsets and ways of working being inaccessible to the force and, by extension, the community.
A good example of this is the importance of having members of the organisation with different personalities; some members of the public will feel more comfortable around people that explain everything in detail, whereas others would be more comfortable around people that get straight to the point. If we fail to have diverse members in our ranks, we run the risk of missing things and being ill-equipped for certain situations.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
Essex Police supported me in my transition from being a Special Constable to a Police Constable, mainly by its members providing support and guidance, but also with the wealth of information that is available regarding the different roles and responsibilities. In addition, by having employees that are open and willing to discuss their role, the organisation helped me make the decision to further my career with them.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
Something interesting about my role is the balance of personal responsibility and resources to assist you in the case that you are struggling. There seems to be a reasonable expectation of autonomy with regards to certain aspects, but something that surprised me was the vast number of resources to help you, and the number of people that are willing to give you that extra bit of assistance so you can do it yourself.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
When you apply, you will be judged solely on your ability, suitability to the role, and how well your ideals align with the force's. Whether you're older, younger, taller, shorter, whether you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community, or any other kind of diversity you can think of, the recruitment process will assess you and you alone.