Read about Sharn's journey to assistant chief constable
After a career in policing spanning almost 27 years, Sharn Basra has been appointed as assistant chief constable for Bedfordshire Police. Here he talks about the endless opportunities he’s had within the force which have led to where he is today, and why he would encourage others to take one of the many routes into a career in policing…
'Like so many others, I joined policing to keep people safe, make a difference, and lock up baddies. For me it was important to do this in my home county, Bedfordshire, so that I knew I was making a real difference to where I, my family, and my friends live.
'It may be a cliché to say that policing is a varied job but it is true. Once you are in the force there are so many different pathways your career can take. I spent six years as a bobby on the beat and then another six years as a detective constable, working to solve all manner of crimes.
'I’ve also spent time as the head of our public protection unit, helping to oversee the protection of some of the most vulnerable people in our society, as well being an area commander for the south of the county, and head of crime for the whole force.
'That’s not to mention the additional duties such as policing football matches for Luton Town, and being part of the policing of major events such as Luton Carnival and Bedford River Festival.
'But for me the most rewarding role of my career to date was working as a senior investigating officer for the major crime unit. You cannot explain the feeling when a family member of someone who has been needlessly taken away from them gives you a hug to say thank you for convicting their killer.
'Throughout my career I have been lucky to work with so many people in so many different roles, I’ve made some fabulous friends and learnt a lot along the way, and most importantly of all I’m making a positive contribution to where I live.
'It is without a doubt the best job ever and I would not change anything. If I had my time again I would still be a cop – policing may have changed a lot and the pressures today are very much different to the ones I faced when I first signed up, but it really is such a rewarding career. Of course there are tough days – but you get the training and the support network you need to manage those.
'After almost 27 years in policing, I’m still lucky enough to love every day of what I do, and now I am responsible for the day to day delivery of policing for my home county – how cool.'