Why did you want to join Police Now?
I wanted to be in a job where I would gain real-life experience dealing with complex societal problems and working with the full spectrum of society. I felt it would give me important life experience for the future.
What’s it like when you first put on your uniform?
It’s a strange experience. I remember seeing myself in a car window and being a bit shocked – I had to remember that I was a Police Now officer!
What benefits do you get?
We get a large amount of small benefits from the Federation and our Sports and Social clubs, which are spread over the West Midlands. The Sports and Social are also subsidising my race entry to the PSUK Marathon in October 2017.
What are you looking to positively impact over the next 100 days?
I am looking forward to having an impact on public place violent crime in a specific area in my neighbourhood – using targeted approaches and evidenced-based models to increase public confidence.
What’s the biggest positive impact you’ve made in your neighbourhood so far?
I served a warning letter on an alcoholic who was causing his parents a lot of distress. Although this wasn’t much, it gave him a framework – detailing the consequences of his actions and what steps I would take. He had never had a letter like this before and has since stopped causing his parents so much trouble. I also put him in touch with support services so he could try and understand his addiction. His parents have told me how happy they are and even the individual himself has said that he is grateful that he was treated like a friend and not a criminal. Although it was only a piece of paper, it had a huge impact on three people’s lives.
What are your fellow officers like?
Very varied. People say there is a ‘police officer type’ but I would strongly disagree – there is no one type. In fact, I think policing attracts people from all sorts of backgrounds and it’s interesting (and sometimes challenging) to work with all of them.
What’s it like working with all the different people within your community?
It is immensely challenging, but also very rewarding. My neighbourhood is roughly 88% BME and has a very varied racial and religious make up. For example, we have several Somali communities. It’s taken me a while to understand some of the tensions going on. I now receive updates from a Somali news channel and can see patterns emerging when things happen in Somalia and when things happen in Sparkbrook.
Were you nervous when you first started? How do you feel now?
I was nervous, and I still am. To be honest, you just learn how to channel the nervousness. I have met officers who have almost finished their careers and are still nervous. I don’t think it goes away.
How have you coped with such a huge responsibility?
I try to take things bit by bit – it’s important not to let everything get on top of you. Taking projects and challenges in bite-sized chunks is the best way forward.
What’s your favourite part of the job? Why?
I’m really interested in Intelligence – gaining intelligence from people and the way the Intelligence system works. I think there are lots of interesting avenues involved and given the increasingly tight economic pressure, the police needs to be more intelligence-driven. I see this as a growing area in policing.