I worked in a petrol station as a cashier at around 18-years-old, which is where my spark for wanting to join the police started. I was a victim of armed robbery and the way the police treated me and helped me really was amazing, it inspired me to want to do the same for other victims of crime.
I started my policing journey with Nottingham Police in 2004. I moved to Cambridgeshire and transferred to Bedfordshire Police in 2014. I chose Bedfordshire due to its reputation of being a small force and it had a huge amount of opportunity to grow as a transferee.
During my policing journey I have spent two years as a special constable and really enjoyed the policing role. I took the plunge and joined as a full-time police officer and spent five years in that role before moving into the detective world.
My favourite moment as being a detective is changing the life route a young criminal, helping redirect him into the army where he could build a life away from crime. Being able to make a difference to someone’s life and help them better themselves so they can turn away from a life of crime is really rewarding.
Any policing role makes an impact on your life, there are positives and negatives. My experience as detective is that it does affect your life. You are off late a lot of the time and you can work long hours. If your partner is not in the police it can be difficult to explain your day and sometimes your friends won’t understand why you have cancelled and why you are so committed to the job.
There will be some cancelled rest days and sometimes little reward when you need it most - but the little things from your management or members of the public make you realise you did a good job, you persevered and ensured that person got locked away for a long time and is no longer on your streets committing crime.
I have built a good family and friend network and over the years they start to understand and love to hear interesting stories at the dinner table, like cases I have prosecuted or evidence I found by digging! People love the stories and getting a behind the scenes glimpse into the policing world, it gets easier as your family and friends start to understand over the years.
I’ve have received a lot of support during my time as an officer in Bedfordshire Police. There is a range of support groups available like the BAME support network.
There is also welfare support and I’ve attended seminars to help with any issues I was facing. My senior management team always has a door open and are really approachable whenever I’ve needed help with anything.
What helps me to come back after a tough day is someone always has it tougher. I’m in a role where I can make a difference, it might be small but it’s still a difference and there are people in Bedfordshire that are depending on me.