An interview with Laura Smith

Laura Smith

We spoke to Laura, about what being a policewoman means to her and how she entered the profession.

“I joined the police force at the age of 17, working in the call management department. I was tasked with taking the 999 calls and it quickly made me realise that I would rather be on the other side of the telephone, responding to the calls.

Initially, I had wanted to be a vet when growing up. I have two dogs who are my world. My Mum is my biggest inspiration. She worked hard and has shown me the right path. She never followed the career she wanted and has always pushed me and my sister to follow what we wanted. 

The thing I love most about my job is the variety. Every day is different and you don’t know what challenge is going to be thrown at you next. No two days are the same so there is no monotony or becoming complacent in this line of work.

I personally haven’t seen any barriers for women in the police force and I believe that women and men are treated equally. Although some specialist departments are unrepresented. 

Both genders bring equal qualities to the table. It’s often that you find men can do the bits of the job that women find harder and women have a softer side that can assist better in certain situations.

As a woman, I have never felt discriminated against both in work and my personal life. I believe that work is fairly equal and have never experienced any problems myself. 

One misconception that people make about me as a female police officer is that I am always tough. Some of the things you see on duty stay with you. People forget that we are human and have feelings and thoughts too.

I think feminism is a great thing and women should be recognised for what they can do. I fully support the movement for equality of the sexes.

My advice for women considering a job in the police force is to go for it. It’s hard work but is rewarding and you get a lot of job satisfaction.”

The Digital Effect

“Recently we have started to embrace the use of modern technology such as social media. I think this is a positive thing as it allows the public to have inside access to what we do and to humanise the police force.

The media portrays women in the police in mostly a positive way. Unfortunately, some media outlets portray the police in a bad light based on how things have progressed due to austerity. 

There is enough support physically for women in the force. Emotionally this is becoming increasingly recognised that we need to be looking after our people. A lot is being done to look after everyone now and focus more on positive mental health and coping mechanisms. Being in the police force is like being part of an extended family where we support each other and keep an eye on our colleagues.”

Achieving a Work/Life Balance

“It hasn’t been easy achieving a good work/life balance in my line of work and is still currently a work in progress. You need to switch off and do what you enjoy when you have rest days or time off.

My mental health has been the largest obstacle I’ve had to overcome in my work life, I believe that only recently we have started to realise the big importance in looking after our minds as much as we look after our physical health. 

At the moment I work in neighbourhood policing, however, I want to go back to response work which is answering the 999 calls. From there I would like to specialise. I just haven’t decided in what yet, I love the bread and butter aspect of police work. 

The future of the police force looks busy! Things are constantly evolving and hopefully, we are coming out of the other side of austerity. The public and politicians have realised we cannot carry on as we have been and this can only be a positive.”

Leave a Reply

© 2022 SOCIALight Magazine
%d bloggers like this: