I work as a Domestic Abuse Safeguarding Officer. The role involves safeguarding high-risk victims of domestic abuse and honour based abuse victims.
One of my proudest achievements would be helping an honour-based abuse victim to start afresh in a new life.
Recently, myself and a colleague have successfully safeguarded a high risk DV stalking victim to start a new life by assisting her with a move to a new property of which the perpetrator has no idea of.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I joined Essex Police to help people. Although working on shift you help people all the time, my current role is much longer term and keeping them safe is very important.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
I joined Essex Police at the age of 42. I believe that joining as an older person I have had a lot of experience that has been beneficial in my role as a police officer. I had previously worked for the prison service and social care. Years ago, there was an age limit on joining the police service. Even though this no longer exists I think that a lot of women just assume that they are too old and would not be able to join or do not have the right qualities to becoming an officer. The stigma is still there outside of the police although once I had joined this has never been an issue for me at all.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
Outside of the police I think that many may assume that it is only young people who become officers. We know that this is not the case and Essex Police have always supported me - people can join at any age!
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
Joining as an older person in society I was able to bring all of my experience with me. I believe that this has been beneficial to Essex Police when I have dealt with incidents.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
When I turned up to my first shift at Canvey in my shiny new uniform I was so nervous - but that nervousness melted away very quickly. Although most of the people around the briefing table were a similar age to my son, I was welcomed and supported. I had a fantastic tutor who assisted me, and we are still friends today.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
Safeguarding high risk victims of domestic abuse is a speciality of Essex Police. On a daily basis, we offer bespoke safeguarding to every victim who is assessed as high risk. We can find them refuge, place a police alarm into their property if deemed necessary and sign post them to other agencies who can offer them additional support.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
Don’t think about it, just do it. I dithered for several years wrongly thinking that I was far too old!