My role at Essex Police is as a Special Constable. My biggest achievement at Essex Police has most certainly been a massive improvement with my confidence when it comes to public interaction. I have interacted with vulnerable people, victims of crime, suspects and had general conversations with the public whilst on patrol. Essex Police has become one of my biggest hobbies and interests, and wherever possible, I’ll give up all my free time to help out and serve as a Special Constable.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy being able to be proactive and being able to move around and get a sense of what it is like in different departments at Essex Police. I like the different opportunities you get as a Special Constable, such as being able to work with your Community Policing Team one day and the Town Centre Team the next. And whilst doing so, I am gathering all the relevant experience to make me become better at delivering in my own role.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
Having diversity and inclusion is vital because it helps make everyone feel more confident and comfortable when applying to join the police, but can also make you feel more confident when you are working with your colleagues. I went through a time in my life where people would use my sexual orientation against me, but since joining Essex Police, it is very clear to me that no matter your age, gender orientation, sexuality, race or religion, Essex Police will not tolerate hate amongst individuals that may been deemed different to others when actually they are exactly the same, it is clear to me that Essex Police support everyone and encourage diversity and inclusion in and out of the work place.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
Before joining Essex Police, I feared that I would be judged and that my sexual orientation would go against me, however this was not the case. I was fully supported throughout my training, and even now my teachers, tutors, supervisors and colleagues are very supportive, and I never feel alone. I feel confident in being myself, and when I find it difficult to open up to my colleagues about my sexuality, they are very reassuring, and my sergeant is very supportive.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
I think it’s very important that Essex Police values difference, because it allows a force for all and a force that represents today’s society. We are in a world today where our generation is ever growing and changing. My generation especially is the main focus of changing the way we see things in society for the best, and that is why I’m confident that Essex Police values difference by recruiting different people from different backgrounds no matter your gender, religious belief, age, disability ect.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
Essex Police have been amazing when it has come to making me feel confident in myself and just being me. Essex Police have a network called the LGBTQ+ Network which is captioned with “Police with Pride”. There are people online to talk to and phone with services available including building and maintaining relationships, raising awareness and understanding, and providing LGBTQ+ employees with the latest information, news and stories from the Regional and National Network.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
As a Special Constable, it allows me to get involved in all kinds of policing duties and attend non emergency calls to emergency calls, and the best part of that is that no call is the same, so you never know what the situation is, and for me that’s the best bit of the job, no two days are the same.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
My advice to you if you identify as LGBTQ+ is to apply and take a look for yourself how supportive and diverse Essex Police is. I can only tell you how supportive Essex Police are, it’s down to you to get involved and take on amazing opportunity and see for yourself. The most important thing I would tell anyone thinking about joining is to know that you are not by yourself and that for every step of your application and career, you will be supported and treated the same as everyone else, and that you shouldn’t be ashamed of your sexual orientation. If you are thinking about becoming a Special Constable, Police Constable or PCSO, and want to be a part of a massive policing family, then Essex Police has the career for you.
Police with pride, no matter what your religious belief, age, gender, sexual orientation, Essex Police is here for everyone. That’s why we need a force which represents the communities we serve, we need officers from different backgrounds to join and eradicate the idea that only heterosexual men can join the police, as it simply isn’t true.