As a girl growing up in her native Poland, Special Constable Aga Strykier always wanted to work for the police. But she wanted to study first and after rejecting an offer to read law at university, left her family in Warsaw to come to the UK in 2009 at the tender age of 19.
She had learnt rudimentary English at school but knuckled down to master the language just before travelling to the UK to read criminology, and eventually law, at Aberystwyth University. Aga was not daunted by the prospect of leaving her family behind, preferring to see it as a challenge.
After graduating, she completed a Masters Degree in trans-national crime at Anglia Ruskin University and then applied to become a Special.
Now 25, Aga is a Special of some experience, having worked on exploitation in Fenland and in the domestic abuse investigation and safeguarding unit in Peterborough, but her main duties are on reactive patrols in Cambridge.
“I always wanted to work for the police, hence the choice of my studies, and seeing the opportunity to become a Special at the end of my Masters just seemed perfect.
“The training was absolutely amazing. It went very quickly. I got to meet new people with the same interests and passions and make new friends for life. Training is very convenient for anyone who has a full time position as it’s held evenings and weekends. There is a lot to learn but the instructors are always there to help.
“Once you become a Special, you get to know your colleagues and you become friends. Everyone looks after you and helps you get new experiences and learn more.
“Every moment while on duty makes me feel proud and you get such a great feeling when you arrive at the scene of a crime and you can help the victim and then catch the suspect.
“I feel very satisfied after doing good things and I know that I have not wasted my evening sitting in front of the TV: I prevented burglaries, I found a missing person, we got the evidence to prosecute the offender, we stopped a fight.
“My proudest moment was after my first arrest and the feeling it gave me.”
Aga has now begun the process of becoming a regular officer but is undecided as she has had a job in the force’s Central Intelligence Bureau and is about to move to the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit, where she will be an indexer.
She will use her time off between jobs this month to visit her family.
“I have gained so many different skills that can be transferred to everyday life”, Aga added.
“I always wanted to work for the police, both for the satisfaction of helping the public and for the excitement of the job. No day is ever the same and you never know what will be the next call from the control room. You never know what to expect and you’re learning every day.
“I would definitely advise other people to apply to become a Special. I’m absolutely loving it and it’s the best experience I have ever had. If you are a motivated person who actually wants to give something back to the community and learn and experience new things, this is definitely the place for you.”