Initially I worked for two years in uniform, in Kendal and then I worked on the drug squads and CID. Approximately 15 years later I was the Detective Inspector in Carlisle, I enjoyed working in the city and worked there for approximately five years. I later performed the role of Detective Chief Inspector in South Cumbria.
Cumbria Police is an excellent employer because they’re supportive and they are interested in your career development. When you join the police service now you will be doing 35 years plus and there are lots of different departments you could join, whether you’re coming as a police officer or police staff. There’s good internal support organisations for those times that you need help or you’re looking for direction.
It’s got a family feel. There are over 1100 people work for this force and I think I know most of them because of that family feel and because you do move around and meet lots of people. At the moment I am stationed at headquarters which is where some of the training takes place, as we collaborate with Lancashire police. Most of the meetings and conferences take place at HQ so again you get to meet others and network.
On a day to day basis all police employees are kept very busy supporting the policing family or helping people in the community. My teams concentrate on supporting victims of serious crime, putting away criminals, and they work with the local policing teams to prevent crime.
Cumbria gets its fair share of everything and every officer is expected to deal with a number of incidents. In bigger forces you might have a specific team that deals with ATM theft, or robbery, but within Cumbria we expect our detectives to deal with all of them, so you have to deal with a lot of variety and complexity.
As a police officer you can make a career whether that’s sideways or upwards through the ranks. I recognise that police staff have less opportunities to move between departments, but the constabulary is looking at development opportunities so there is still an opportunity to get promoted.