Superintendent Ed Wells
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a Superintendent, currently the Head of Change in the Strategic Change Directorate. It is an interesting role where you get to see lots ‘behind the scenes’ of how a large organisation works. I have been very fortunate throughout my career to have lots of very interesting roles, including Response teams, Custody, Tactical Team Sergeant, Roads Policing, District Commander, Contact Management and Chief Inspector Firearms. Highlights? I thoroughly enjoy the role of tactical commander across various disciplines – I never would have thought I’d get to be involved in such a variety of police work, working with so many skilled and highly credible people.
Out of work, I am married with a daughter and two sons, and that accounts for most my spare time! I love to get outdoors in my time off and enjoy cycling and spending time with family and friends. I also recently received my first ever Headteacher’s Award, for capturing a frog at my children’s Sports Day which was trying to distract some of the competitors on the track!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
As a Superintendent, I really enjoy the variety or work; whether it’s helping shape the plans for Force growth, commanding public order operations, or working with the Domestic Abuse Teams to support the custody process with extensions or Domestic Violence Protection Notices. I love leading teams and getting to work with such a variety of characters and skillsets hopefully helping people reach their potential.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
Diversity and inclusion is critical; firstly because I passionately believe in fairness, and it is simply right to challenge ourselves and each other to be fairer in everything we do. Secondly, diversity of thought in every context increases the quality of our decision making and our plans. We need to actively build our teams to be diverse; so that individuals are treated fairly, and so our service to the public is the best it can be because we are not all looking at situations in the same way.
Outside of work, I look at my children and their friends and am excited for the future. I am excited that they are growing up in a world where the imbalance of opportunity is better understood, and more is being done to challenge it. I feel very fortunate to be a small part of the HeforShe team in Essex Police, where I can hopefully help some of the inherent unfairness that has existed through the fairly ‘male-centric’ approach that has been taken for so long.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
In short no; and something I am learning more and more about, is that this is not surprising, because I am a white heterosexual man. My privilege meant it didn’t occur to me that it would be hard for me at 18 to walk into an interview with the police and get a job. That was almost 20 years ago, and I now find myself on the other side of the interview table, and it is really exciting to meet potential new colleagues coming through. I would want to really encourage people that the process we have now is a good and fair one where we talk a lot about our unconscious bias and openly challenge each other’s thinking to try and be the most open and transparent we can be.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
Policing is the best job in the world; we get to make a difference and see and experience what no-one else does. That is sometimes a ‘painful privilege’ (an insightful description by John Sutherland), but it is a privilege, nonetheless. I would strongly encourage anyone to come and find out more, diversity in our teams is not only ‘nice to have’, it is critical to make us better at protecting the public, so we can understand and represent all our communities. I am sometimes frustrated by the stories about the dreadful things that happen when people have not been treated fairly or well within policing; not because those stories shouldn’t be told (they should be), but because inevitably the thousands of fantastic things that happen in policing where diversity is valued are not so newsworthy.