I live in Bedfordshire, so being able to help people within my county was one of the reasons I joined Bedfordshire Police. Another reason is because we are a small force which means you are recognised for everything you do. I have received numerous emails from my superiors acknowledging and thanking me for the work I have done. I am also able to receive training like response driving and work in other departments, which larger forces are less able to offer.
Before joining the police, I worked in customer service. It taught me a lot about communication and teamwork, which has really helped me in my policing role. My teamwork skills come into play every day as I am working alongside other people, in a team, in some challenging situations. Being part of a team like this is really enjoyable because I can talk to others about my job and ask for advice. My team support me all the time.
Being able to communicate with people is essential and since joining my communication skills have excelled. I am talking to a variety of people every day and each person is different.
One shift could see me help the older and younger generation, people who are upset, angry or happy and I need to speak to each person as an individual and change my style so I can best help them.
I love the feeling I get when I help a vulnerable person. Helping people is always the best moment because it makes you feel like you have done a great job. Mental health is currently the biggest challenge in policing. You need to change the way you speak to someone and listen to the issues they are facing to understand and provide the best course of action. The different emergency services have to work together.
Being a police officer has affected my personal life both positively and negatively. The positives are I can go into work happy and actually look forward to my next shift. On response we work four days on and four days off, which can be a big positive especially when planning to see friends and family. The negatives can be getting home at different times, and our finishing times are not always guaranteed. Sometimes I get home at 7am after a night shift because we could get called to a job that can be difficult to resolve. It makes planning something for after a shift really hard.
My team plays a major impact on why I come back after a tough day. I know that if I have something on my mind or a certain job is affecting me I can talk to my Sergeants or any other PC. There are also many services within the force that help officers with mental health or just having someone to talk to. I know not every day is the same so if I do have a bad day I know that I might have a better day the next.
Being thick skinned is an essential skill. We can receive a lot of abuse on a daily basis. This is again where communication plays a huge part, and understanding. The way I see it is they hate the uniform not you.
During my tutorship my tutor, PC Wilshere, supported me throughout. The first four months were tough as I was adjusting to being a police officer and seeing things I haven’t seen before, especially coming from my previous job. My tutor supported me throughout by always being there if I needed her and was ready to step in to help. She also provided advice about how I handled a situation and gave guidance on what I could have done differently. This had a really positive impact because it can be daunting starting a career like this but my tutor made the transition very easy.
Once I have gained my NVQ in policing and passed my two-year probation I want to specialise with BOSON, which is our guns and gangs unit and specialises in disrupting gang activity.
Being a police officer has always been a dream job for me.
A few of my family members are police officers and hearing about what type of jobs they attend really opened my eyes to policing. I have always wanted a job where every day is different and the officer role perfectly demonstrates this. I am yet to have a day where it is the same as the day before.
My advice to anyone thinking of applying is DO IT! There is no harm in trying something different and you have lots of skills that can transfer to make a good officer. I have met a lot of people who didn’t ever see themselves as police officers or even thought about it.