"Being on the frontline during these pivotal incidents, you know you are helping to make a significant difference to the city and their communities."
Not just a career, a way of life
For Vicky, becoming a police officer was not part of the plan, but all that changed when she started work as a Forensic Scientist. During her time in the lab she would receive reports from officers about incidents of crime and the evidence it had produced, and she soon realised that she wanted to be the one writing the report and not reading it.
That was 14 years ago now and she hasn’t looked back since…
What is your day to day like?
As an inspector, I currently lead a team of 60+ emergency response officers. These officers answer the emergency calls that come into the police. We could be dealing with anything from serious violence, or mental health crisis, to shop lifting and missing people.
Whatever the call, it is your job to go in there and work out what has happened and how best you can diffuse or help the situation.
A lot of colleagues, including myself, enjoy the teamwork aspect that comes with working in response or in other frontline units. One of the main reasons so many have stayed in the job this long is because of the people. You really form an unbreakable bond with your team and receive a lot of support from them along the way too.
How were supported throughout the promotion process, from PC to Inspector?
When I joined the Met I had an idea that I wanted to be a detective, but the more time I spent out on the street in a visible role I realised that I wanted to be on the frontline of policing. I have had extremely encouraging and inspiring supervisors throughout my career. They have supported me and provided me with the tools that have helped me get to where I am today. If you have somewhere you want to go, whether it is up the ranks or into a specialism, there are many role models in the Met who will support you in achieving your goals. As an inspector, my experience really has come full circle, as now I spend a lot of my time helping the officers in my team to develop their skills and reach their goals.
What units have you worked in throughout your career?
I have worked in many different teams during my time at the Met. During my probationary period I was part of the Case Progression Unit, interviewing suspects and compiling cases for court. Then I joined the Borough Tasking Unit, dealing with gangs and robberies.
One of the best things about working in the Met is that there is always opportunities to develop or learn a new skill. I am public order trained, so I am able to support policing of large gatherings or events. I also completed my Sexual Offence Investigation Technique Course, meaning I am qualified to be the main point of contact and source of support for victims of sexual offences.
More recently I worked in the Territorial Support Group (TSG ), first as a PC then as a Sergeant, during my time there I completed my Taser training and became an authorised firearms officer, meaning I have been trained to carry and use firearms.
What are some of your highlights from your 14 year career?
I think I am most proud of myself for all of the opportunities I have taken which have allowed me to experience situations I never thought I could and develop skills I never knew I had. Working in TSG I was exposed to some of the most high-profile and fast paced incidents unfolding in London. The TSG unit is unique to the Met and provides an immediate presence at critical incidents, and gives substantial support to high-volume crime boroughs. Being on the frontline during these pivotal incidents, you know you are helping to make a significant difference to the city and it's communities.
What is the most challenging aspect of policing?
For me I find the criticism from the media can have a real negative impact on, not only officer confidence, but also the confidence the public have in us. It can make you feel more cautious about exercising your powers in certain locations or after high profile incidents. The bottom line is, if you use your powers ethically, then you will have the full support of the service behind you - never be afraid to do your job.
What would you say to someone considering a career in the Met?
It's not just a career but a way of life. It is a commitment to making this city a safer place for all, which can be demanding and challenging but also extremely rewarding one.
You may find after joining that family or friends start treating you differently, but you should not let the thoughts of others put you off pursuing such a varied and worthwhile career.