PC Poonam Bhogal
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am 28 years old and come from an Indian background. I work in the Local Policing Team (LPT) in Chelmsford and have done so since the start of my career at Essex Police. My interests outside of work include painting, exercising and spending time with my family and friends.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy the diversity of the role. You never know what you’re coming into when you start your shift and every day is different. The range of incidents that LPT cover is extensive. I like how close knit LPT is and every day we work together as a team helping our community, keeping the streets safe and keeping each other safe.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
I think it is important that diversity and inclusion is prominent in the any workplace, but especially the police. It doesn’t matter what height you are, the colour of your skin, your religion, race or gender, we all have the same values and these values are the reason why we joined and continue to serve and protect our community.
There are no restrictions or discriminations in the police, anyone can join. Being different doesn’t hinder you from doing your job.
Coming from different cultures can help empathise with different cultures in the community, being female can sometimes help calm a violent environment down, different age groups can empathise with different situations.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
A policing career is not promoted in my culture, with a series of different reasons why. Luckily, my parents and family did not disapprove of me wanting to join the police, but I think it did come as a shock as it’s not the normal career. They have supported me throughout and still continue to do so and I know they are very proud of me serving in Essex Police.
What advice would you give to anyone identifying as BAME thinking about joining Essex Police?
Throughout the recruiting process of join Essex Police, I did not feel like I was treated any differently to other people wanting to join. The process is intense but this is to ensure that people with the right values are recruited. Essex Police do not discriminate against race, religion, gender, sexuality, or height. I have not faced any discrimination from colleagues and I always have felt like I am part of a team.
If this is a career you wish to follow, don’t let anything stop you. I can honestly say it is the best job in the world, A job that is exciting, interesting, intense and sad at times but overall is so rewarding and fulfilling.