Policing is something I’ve always wanted to do. I love programmes like Police Interceptors and Traffic Cops and that’s what inspired me to join.
I’ve been quite lucky in my career in that early on I was on a good salary. Unfortunately a police salary wouldn’t compete with that – I wouldn’t be able to take a pay cut to join so it’s not a full time career option for me. That’s why I do it as a hobby; although I volunteer about 140 hours a month, which is probably about the same as a regular officer would work.
I joined the Specials because I’d always wanted to join the police service and I thought I’d give it a go. I was initially only going to do it for a year, and ended up staying and making it into my 25th year.
When I joined the Specials, we were just coming out of the ‘hobby bobby’ era, so we were just breaking away from fetes and carnivals. I was part of the first generation of new Specials who started to push barriers; I didn’t want to be known as a hobby bobby – I wanted to do what police officers did.
I wanted to be involved with the police from a young age – my uncle was a police driver in Northumbria and often when we visited he’d show us the police cars which I found really exciting.
As I went through school I got involved with sports coaching, and on the recommendation of one of my teachers I moved into teaching. I qualified in 1996 and started work straight away. I began my career, and gradually moved my way up to a point where starting a new career would have been difficult.