International Women’s Day: inspirational women on the policing frontline
Wednesday 8 March 2023
Six inspirational Police Now officers came together to mark International Women’s Day (8th March) and discuss the important work they are doing to support women in forces and communities across England and Wales.
From supporting victims of domestic violence, overcoming barriers in the workplace, and using women’s sports initiatives to build stronger community relationships, they share a passion for tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and building public confidence in the police service.
Police Now recruits, trains and develops diverse and talented individuals to be outstanding officers on the policing frontline, supporting victims and tackling crime via the National Graduate Leadership Programme or National Detective Programme. Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme is for existing constables who wish to develop their leadership and operational policing skills further, break down barriers within the service and society, and progress from constable to sergeant rank.
Three of Police Now’s directors joined the officers to hear about the fantastic work they are doing and celebrate their successes as women working across policing. You can watch the full video and trailer to hear from Holie, Innayah, Leigha, Rachel, Ria and Rosanna or read more below.
Rosanna joined Essex Police in 2017 after working in the care sector as a healthcare assistant, support worker and dementia lead support coordinator.
Whilst on Police Now’s programme, she worked as a neighbourhood police officer in Colchester and tackled crime ranging from thefts and road rage to knife crime. She has since acted as a Temporary Sergeant in the force’s Domestic Abuse team, where she worked with partner agencies in the community to safeguard victims and their families until they were ready to give evidence and help bring offenders to justice.
As a former executive of the Women’s Leadership Development Forum for Essex Police – alongside representatives from the Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service – she helped develop the service’s knowledge and response to VAWG as well as staff health and wellbeing, including menopause and pregnancy.
Rosanna has also been a trainer at Police Now’s academy, leading and developing the new officers joining Essex Police and ensuring they have a strong role model from the very start of their careers. She went on to pass her National Investigators’ Exam and is now a detective sergeant in the force’s Criminal Investigations Department where she continues to support victims of domestic violence and crime.
Police Constable Rachel Gallimore
Frontline Leadership Programme, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary
Rachel has 20 years’ experience in the police service and has worked in multiple roles across frontline policing, neighbourhood policing, investigations, and serious crime. She is currently on the force’s Fraud Investigations Team.
Rachel is a member of the Executive Committee for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary’s Inspire Network. The network supports women in the service to overcome barriers and reach their full potential, with a focus on mentorship, health, and wellbeing. Rachel brings her own experiences as a mother to the network, where members also discuss flexible working and managing a healthy work-life balance around shift work and parenting.
Rachel is currently an officer on Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme and is now bringing her extensive experience to the Police Now Alumni and Ambassadors team, who she is working with to also establish a national Empower Network. The network will provide a collaborative space for sharing knowledge and learning and aims to empower women in the service to overcome barriers, progress in their roles regardless of rank, and support one another on a national scale.
Police Constable Innayah Aziz
National Graduate Leadership Programme and Frontline Leadership Programme
West Midlands Police
Raised by a single mother in a deprived community in the West Midlands, Innayah had never considered a career in policing when she was growing up. In between her studies, she volunteered for the NHS supporting vulnerable adults who suffered from poor mental health or disabilities, and also worked as a healthcare assistant. It was there she realised her passion for helping others and decided to embark on a career in policing.
She joined West Midlands Police in July 2020 via Police Now and realised her passion for neighbourhood policing, particularly promoting trust and legitimacy between the police and the communities they serve. Despite initially grappling with ‘imposter syndrome’, Innayah flourished in her role and later became a trainer at Police Now’s academy, where she acted as a crucial role model to new officers joining West Midlands Police and played a key role in their learning and development.
Innayah is currently an Anti-Social Behaviour and Hate Crime officer and is developing her leadership skills further on Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme.
Police Constables Leigha and Ria Ravalia
National Graduate Leadership Programme, Metropolitan Police Service
Identical twins Leigha and Ria joined the Metropolitan Police Service together in 2021 and are currently working as neighbourhood police officers in Mile End and Spitalfields respectively, tackling crime from drug dealing and anti-social behaviour to domestic abuse and VAWG. They have also both recently completed attachments in the force’s Predatory Offenders Unit and Ria has aspirations to complete an attachment with the Met’s Territorial Support Group.
Leigha and Ria are black-belt kickboxers in their spare time and have been using sports to support women in London. Leigha has joined a women’s-only kickboxing group, to build positive relationships with women on her beat and engage with the community in a plain-clothes role. Ria, alongside her male colleagues, has worked with Adidas to prevent and address catcalling and inappropriate or violent behaviour directed at women in her local running club.
They both organise regular walk and talk initiatives to gather intelligence, understand the issues affecting their communities and build public confidence in the service. Leigha has recently been nominated for a commendation by her inspector for an extraordinary act of bravery, after entering a burning building to assist others before the Fire and Rescue Services arrived.
Detective Constable Holie Kerton
National Detective Programme, Gwent Police
Having originally studied advertising at university and worked in a customer services role, Holie was motivated to join the policing frontline by her passion to help people and make a positive impact on society.
She joined Gwent Police in 2021 via Police Now’s National Detective Programme and worked in the Criminal Investigations Department before joining her current team in the Public Protection Unit. Having always wanted to be in policing but never truly believing she could before coming across Police Now, she is currently working on complex investigations to bring offenders to justice and supporting victims of crime including domestic abuse, rape and honour-based violence.