What 40 years in force looks like

blog2I joined the force in 1976 when female officers were known as Women Police Constables (WPCs). It was a completely different era Life on Mars was quite accurate. Although WPCs were allowed on section, which was a fairly new way of working, we were still tasked with dealing with ‘women’s issues’, which involved dealing with any female or child victims. There were very few women in the force, in fact it was a rarity to have one on each section and when I joined I was the only woman on my intake.

WPCs had to wear skirts; there were no trousers, a box style hat, double breasted jacket and a cape, which didn’t keep you warm or dry at all. It was quite different from the heavy kit officers have to carry around today. Female officers were also given a long handled handbag to carry their small custom made truncheons.

I remember it being said ‘it would probably be best to keep it in the handbag and swing the handbag if you needed protection, the only use the truncheon would be for is breaking windows.’ The men were given much longer and more suitable truncheons.

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It’s time to talk

Ben DimmockSergeant Ben Dimmock is part of the force’s Crime Reduction Team, who work to understand local crime patterns and hold events across the county to advise residents and businesses on security and personal safety. Ben also plays a pivotal part in the force’s new Junior Police Squad scheme.

He talks about his experience with depression and how important it is to speak to someone if you are struggling. Continue reading