“Transferring to Leicestershire Police was a big jump but it’s paid off both personally and professionally and I’d recommend it to anyone.”
Detective Inspector Laura Sanderson moved from Thames Valley Police (TVP) to Leicestershire Police one year ago as a sergeant and found herself back in uniform at Mansfield House police station in Leicester city centre having been a detective for the previous eight years.
“I was a bit frustrated at first and didn’t understand why, having not been on the frontline for so long, but actually going back into uniform was the best thing because it gave me the chance to get to know the area, learn Leicestershire’s systems and practices and I got to work with a great team. The other sergeants were really helpful, and I felt like part of the police family again.
“Thames Valley Police is a much bigger force and has very different systems, processes and structures so going back into uniform meant I got to know how frontline policing in Leicestershire works. It took me out of my comfort zone and that was a good thing because I got excited about the job again and got that buzz back of responding to grade one calls and helping the vulnerable.”
Laura had been a police officer for ten years at Thames Valley Police before deciding for personal reasons that she wanted to transfer to Leicestershire Police as her partner lived in Leicester.
“I believe that to be a police officer you have to be at your best to give the best service and, to be on top of my game, I needed to have the right work/life balance. At Thames Valley Police I was commuting sometimes over an hour a day to work and then travelling to Leicester whenever I could to see my partner. Despite knowing that if I moved I would leave behind my family and friends, I knew I needed to do it to be with my partner and it’s definitely proved to be the right decision.”
While working as a sergeant at Thames Valley Police Laura had already applied to sit her inspector’s exams and found out she had to sit them during her second week in Leicestershire while she was still on her two-week transferee course.
“I was worried that I’d only just arrived and needed time off to sit the exam but Leicestershire were amazing and gave me the time I needed and I was really proud to pass the exams with 84%, one of the highest marks.
“Having passed, you then have to pass the promotion process and I did wonder if I was still too new having been in the force less than a year and people didn’t really know me but again one of the operational command inspectors was so encouraging so I went for it and was successful.”
Laura initially spent twelve weeks as an Operational Command Inspector, responding to critical incidents across the whole force area, before securing a permanent posting. Almost exactly a year to the day she transferred, Laura has started her new role as the detective inspector in the Missing Persons Operations Team (MPOT).
“Transferring was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Going back into uniform really sharpened my operational policing skills, gave me operational command experience and the critical skills I needed. I’ve learnt how the force is set up, its command structures and have more experience of working with senior officers than I would have had at Thames Valley Police just because it is such a huge force.
“The recruitment process can take quite a long time so you do need to be patient but it is worth it.
“I have made some really good friends at Leicestershire Police and I am planning my wedding next year. It’s been an adventure that’s for sure but I would recommend it to anyone.”