“I always had an interest in the police from watching cop dramas and fly on the wall documentaries, but had never considered joining until I saw an advert to join my local police force on a billboard.
“As I had been working in the same industry for a number of years, I thought this would be something new and why not see how far I get. I have lived in Luton all my life so to me it made sense that I would be working to protect and help people in my own community.
“Once I submitted my application form and I was shortlisted, I was asked to spend a day at an Assessment Centre, which involved a series of tests, such as written and maths, and four different role play exercises in front of an assessor. These were orchestrated to test how we would deal with certain situation, so one of the exercises I was involved in was based around how I would react to a shoplifter who had been detained and was becoming abusive. I found this to be really interesting and I really enjoyed it which piqued my interest in the police even more.
“The next stage was the fitness test, which I passed with flying colours and then onto the final interview. I finally received the news that I had been accepted into the police force nine months after seeing that advert and I was ready for my new career.
“All new recruits have to undertake 16 weeks training at Dunstable Police Station, where we studied different laws and had to pass three exams to get through to the next stage. Once I had passed that initial stage, I completed a 16 week tutorship in a mix of different areas, where I was able to get out and about with a PC shadowing them on different jobs. This was very reassuring as I got to learn the ropes and felt more than ready to go it alone. In order to do so I had to be signed off by the PCs that I was shadowing, which gave me great confidence.
“The next year was spent trying to complete my ENVQ in Policing whilst also learning the job practically. I spent six months working as part of the Community Crime team in the north of the county. This was particularly interesting as I have been involved in seeing crime investigations from the start all the way through and has given me a good grounding for the future.
“I then moved onto join the Response team in the south for a further six months. One particular job which will stick with me was when a member of the public alerted us to a very distressed woman bleeding from the head in the street. When we reached her, she was saying she had fallen but once we got talking to her, she opened up and told us it was her partner. When we located him at their nearby flat, he became violent towards us, so the role play training really helped the way I handled the situation. The man was arrested and we collected all the evidence from the flat which resulted in a custodial sentence for the offender. It felt good knowing that we had not only put the bad guy behind bars, but that we had also helped a vulnerable woman, who will hopefully be able to put this behind her and get on with her life.
“I am now in my second week working in the Community Cohesion team in the south and I am loving it. We had some input into how the team works during our training and it really piqued my interest. Two years in, I am open to trying every opportunity that comes my way and am working my way up towards the Sergeants exams and will see what happens from there.
“Joining my local police force was one of the best decisions I have ever made as I am doing a job that I really enjoy. My advice to anyone who is thinking of applying, just do it. It’s not a job that will suit everyone, but it’s definitely a job like no other, so if it’s something that you think you could be good at, then take the opportunity!”
Recruitment for police officers is open until 3 February. To find out more or to apply, visit our recruitment pages or read the job advert.