I joined the force in 1998 after finishing my degree in law and marketing. Even though nobody in my family was in the police, it was something I had wanted to do from an early age. I loved the idea of doing something different each day and have always enjoyed an adrenalin rush – being a police officer has certainly given me plenty of those.

I have been really fortunate to have worked in a variety of roles within the police. I started at Asfordby Street police station, in Spinney Hills, initially in uniform and loved seeing many different cultures. While there, I travelled to Canada to collect a prisoner who was a witness to a case in the UK. This allowed me to explore a country I had never been to before and gave me the travel bug.

I then moved into covert policing - an area of policing that, for a good reason, often goes unreported, but the team work I experienced here was fantastic and I made some friends for life. I also gained some great skills including becoming an advanced driver and a detective.

In 2006, I went back to wearing a police uniform covering the city centre where I led a brilliant team of hugely motivated officers and we had a great time chasing our tails from job to job all over the city. I remember getting involved in a pursuit one night, and as the driver stopped his car and ran off from the scene, I could see something in the car. This resulted in me smashing the passenger window and crawling though broken glass, only to have it pointed out to me by a passing member of the public, that the driver’s door was open already! Something my team never let me forget.

I became a Detective Inspector (DI) in 2011, moving back to the world of covert policing for a while before changing roles completely and heading up the Signal team, the force’s specialist rape investigation unit. I worked on a variety of very complex investigations and was part of the team that saw a very dangerous offender sentenced to life imprisonment for a terrifying attack on a woman who could have so easily been killed. I’ll never forget the moment the jury came back with their guilty verdict. I think I was shaking more than the suspect because I knew what their findings would mean to the victim, and I’m not ashamed to say I had tears in my eyes when we gave her the news. The impact these types of offences have on victims is immeasurable.

Having been promoted to Detective Chief Inspector (DCI), I now head up the Digital Hub – a unit that includes cybercrime, paedophile online investigations and digital forensics. I have also recently taken on the role as Chair for the force’s Women’s Inclusive Network (WIN) which aims to support women throughout the organisation.

As a mum to my three-year-old son, life is really busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am fortunate to have a great support network around me. My husband is a police officer too and sometimes it can take a bit of planning as to who is doing the nursery run and so on. When I first returned to work from maternity leave you’d often see me with a dummy attached to my jacket or a teething ring around my wrist that I’d forgotten to remove!

Policing has moved with the times and we recognise how important time is with our families by offering more flexibility in our working day where possible. I love being both a mum and a police officer.

I’d encourage anyone interested in joining the police to do so. It’s rewarding and pushes me on a daily basis both professionally and personally.