I’m a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) based in Loughton, but I started my journey in Southend in 2018. I take a lot of pride in my job and truly love the community I serve. I have recently had recognition for my work with a vulnerable male who we did a welfare check on after a call was made to us. Whilst my colleagues contacted his doctor and made him comfortable, I went to a local shop and bought him some necessities like bread, milk and toilet roll. We made him a hot meal and contacted professionals to get him assistance. We even fixed his broken toilet before we left!
Another proud moment for me would be the day after we attended a collision – one of the parties turned up to our station to say a special thank you to us for our compassion and professionalism. That was really humbling and truly heart-warming. Other achievements include the prevention of a number of recent suicide attempts, where I was able to talk, listen and connect with the person, creating a relationship of trust and preventing further harm. Those are particularly special moments and are ones I will never forget.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
What I love most about my role is the amount of different people I get to meet every day. I have the privilege of meeting and serving people from all backgrounds, ethnicities and religions, of all ages and with such varying life stories. Whether it’s an elderly gentleman telling me tales of his youth, or a person of faith educating and sharing their culture with me, it’s a truly wonderful thing to experience day in, day out. Yes, we may see the worst of people in this job, but we also see the absolute best.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
Diversity is crucial in the police service, because we should truly reflect the communities we serve. I believe we are getting there, and there has been massive progress in recent years, but there is a lot more work to be done. That is why campaigns like this are essential. Young black, Asian and minority ethnic people, along with women and the LGBTQ+ community, should feel empowered to join a force that will support and nurture them, and to be a part of shaping the future of their communities. Nobody should feel that a career like policing is out of reach for them. Children from all backgrounds need role models to look up to, and to know that there is no limit to their potential.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
When I first submitted my application, I was actually quite nervous. I had grown up loving the idea of working for the emergency services, but when I thought of the police, I always associated it with big tall strong men. I never thought there would be a place for me amongst it all. I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw how welcomed I was at Essex Police. Once the ball was rolling, my worries melted away. I now feel a part of something really special.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
With diversity comes a broad range of perspectives, opinions and knowledge. The world is so complex, and through the eyes, minds and hearts of different people we can understand so much more about it. If we want to make our communities safer, more inclusive and more fairly represented, we must first look inward. The change starts with us, and I am proud to be a part of an organisation that is making this kind of progress.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
I have really enjoyed learning about a variety of important topics since joining the job, many of which I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn about in depth without being here. I have learned a lot about subjects such as mental health and disabilities, understanding how to adapt to peoples’ needs and to recognise signs, which I feel is very important for inclusivity. I’ve also learned a lot about unconscious bias, which has allowed me to challenge not only colleagues or people I meet, but also myself. I feel empowered to ask difficult questions, and to really find where I stand on important issues. I have been able to speak to supervisors and colleagues about my feelings and my personal problems and have been supported wholeheartedly by everyone I have spoken to. I feel very supported and encouraged in this job.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
Many people don’t know how much PCSOs actually get involved in. Obviously, we do a lot of community engagement, but we also regularly work with police officers such as the Town Centre Teams, on the beat officers and even response units, attending a variety of jobs from mental health incidents to dogs in hot cars. We often assist with local operations, tackling anti-social behaviour and drug dealing, and sometimes even assist with drug warrants! Within the limits of our designated powers, we are encouraged to give it our all and get stuck in, and I am really passionate about. I truly love this role.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
Go for it, I promise you will not regret it. I have grown so much as a person since joining Essex Police, and it really was the best thing I could have ever done.
Don’t let your pre-conceptions get in the way of you achieving your potential.