Before joining policing, Eva worked in IT. At the time, she knew she wanted to do something that felt more rewarding and coincidentally, the police were holding an open evening for candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds. Eva said: “I went along to the recruitment event and my mind was blown. I knew then that joining the police was absolutely what I wanted to do.”
Talking firstly about why she enjoys her role, Eva says: “For me, joining the police has been truly life-changing. It’s helped me discover that there is a lot more to me than I ever imagined. I enjoy the diversity within my role, every single day is different. It’s this, and the fact that I know I am making a substantial difference to people’s lives, which keeps my drive and motivation high.”
Eva continues: “The most important part of my role is dealing with those who are vulnerable. We tend to come into contact with people at some of the worst times in their lives and, for me, it’s being that support; the person who is able to help them in that most challenging moment, I am very passionate about being that person they can rely on.”
Of being a black woman within policing, Eva said “I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced any negativity related to race in my time in the police. First and foremost, I see myself as a member of the police service, part of a family which shares the same mission – keeping people and communities safe. Furthermore, my organisation is very good at dealing robustly with any untoward behaviour. There is no place for racism or sexism. It is simply not tolerated instead, people from different cultures and backgrounds are welcomed and supported.”
Talking specifically about Sussex Police, Eva says that, as with many forces up and down the country, a dedicated diversity team has been put in place to ensure that the force reflects the community it serves. Eva reflects that it’s when police officers are able to understand the cultures, histories and traditions, that they have a better chance of breaking down barriers, building trust, and protecting the local community.
In the 13 years Eva has been in policing, she has progressed and now serves as a Detective Sergeant. On career progression, Eva says: “There is so much room for progression and what’s more, there are so many varied and interesting roles. There are also Positive Action Learning (PAL) courses which aim to train up individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds for leadership positions. If you have the ambition and will, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”
And when it comes to how her nearest and dearest have reacted to her career choices, Eva continues: “My family and friends can clearly see the passion I have for my job and they are nothing but proud and supportive of my career choice.”
Finally, speaking on her advice to other people from the black community who are considering a role in policing, she says: “If you are on the hunt for an exciting, challenging and rewarding career, where you can make a difference every single day, and you want a police force that is reflective of our communities, then come and join us. It’s one of the best things you could do with your life, you will never regret it.”
There are various ways to join the police, depending on your work, life and educational experience.