Sergeant Rebecca Shoebridge-Cave
Tell us a bit about yourself
I have always wanted to be a police officer since being a child and with 18 years service (where did that time go?!) I have undertaken a number of different roles within Essex Police. I’m a Sergeant and have been for about 13 years. I’ve undertaken Detective roles as well as Uniform ones. One of my biggest achievements was as a Detective Sergeant on CID in the South when I dealt with a male who was impersonating a Police Officer and detaining young females in handcuffs and driving them around in his car before releasing them. Clearly this male posed a huge threat to women and the community but we identified him and he was arrested and subsequently charged and convicted of the offence. To date, that was my longest shift, a total of 23 hours, but well worth it. Outside of work my biggest achievement is my family. I love spending time with them, walking in the countryside and going to the National Trust. I also like to run and have taken part in a number of races across the county.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am in a desk-based role within the Resolution Centre which is busy with a high turnaround of work. But this affords me the time to work on the LGBTQ+ Network for which I am the Executive Chair. A role I am passionate about and believe is essential to colleagues from the LGBT community.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
Diversity and Inclusion is imperative to everyone in society as no one person is better than another and we should all be treated the same no matter what colour our skin, or what our sexuality is. It does not matter whether that relates to a colleague or a member of the public. We can not presume to know everything about a protected characteristic, but we can be respectful enough to be honest and open about it and respect others’ lives.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
I was very fortunate when I joined back in 2002 that I did not face any barriers in joining Essex Police or after I’d joined through my training and those months through my probation. What I have noticed though is the change from Essex Police being predominately male to now having more females within the force.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
Essex is a diverse county and as a police force we should reflect this so that we are best equipped to deal and serve the people and communities of the county. A work force that does not reflects is ill-equipped to have the knowledge and experience of people who are from a diverse background.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
I am a member of the WLDF network and as I stated the Chair of the LGBTQ+ network so am in a position to support others in their career.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
Being in the Resolution Centre we are able to deal with investigations as soon as they’ve been crimed which means we can contact a victim within a very short period of time, providing a great service and allows us to start the investigation promptly and efficiently
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
If this is something you want to do then do it and be the best you can. The support and guidance is there to help you through the recruitment process (there are LGBT or BAME buddies) and through your probation. Mr Harrington, the Chief Constable is openly and encouragingly supportive of all networks. Be brave and step up to help Essex Police be the best it can be.