Helping those in need motivated 24-year-old probationary officer Sanchez Thomas to become a police constable and it still drives him nine months on. He swapped from being a prison officer because he wanted to have a greater impact on the behaviour of offenders.
I have wanted to be a police officer since I was at secondary school. Since then I’ve always said to myself that I‘ll be an officer one day, and I’m finally there, which definitely feels like a great personal achievement.
Ultimately I want to try to make a positive impact on people’s lives but speaking to people and the daily variety of the job were also big factors in me joining the force. You’re always engaging with people and in the public eye and must adapt to different situations. Being in the uniform and driving a police car was only a small reason for wanting to join.
When I tell friends that I’m a police officer and describe some of the problems I face, some are very quick to say that they couldn’t do the job. That said, I was thinking exactly the same before I joined and even throughout my initial training.
It became clear when I first started on the streets with my tutor that police officers are just human and all we do is interact with people while upholding the law. My days consist of attending emergency incidents and 101 calls across Peterborough. From domestic incidents and street robberies to road traffic collisions, no two incidents are the same.
One memorable incident from my first nine months was a report of a woman who was drunk in the street being dragged along by a man. When a colleague and I got to the scene we found them climbing over a fence into a back garden. We followed them in and quickly realised a domestic incident had happened there the day before. We made our way through the garden and, as we approached, they both sat down and the first thing I noticed was severe injuries to the woman’s face. I immediately arrested the man and he was taken to the station.
It was a hard hitting incident for me because if we hadn’t managed to find the couple that night the victim could have been far worse off. Working with colleagues from various departments, the female victim was safeguarded and the male received a custodial sentence.
Incident of this nature motivate me to keep doing this job. I like the thought of being able to attend jobs and help those who cannot help themselves or have the confidence to do so. It may be offering advice or taking positive action so victims have the strength to break free or deal with certain scenarios independently.
I look forward to coming into work to be able to try and help people and if I am able to do that then that’s my reward, and that’s where I get my job satisfaction.
If you walked in my shoes you’d see how so much going on around you all the time but you just don’t know about it. I’ve lived in Peterborough all of my life and because of this job it’s taken me to places and made me notice things I’ve never seen or paid any attention to before. Areas are different, houses are different, situations are different and people are different. You never know what to expect and can’t predict anything, which is what makes this job so interesting and a great fit for me.