Behind the Badge: Being an Asian female police officer in Harrow

PC Kripa Sanghani. Credit: Met Police.

We launched a brand new feature last month called ‘Behind the Badge’, giving Harrow residents a chance to learn more about our local police officers. 

This month, Harrow Online spoke with PC Kripa Sanghani, who gives a really interesting perspective as one of Harrow’s new Asian female officers.


1) What is your role?

I am part of the Safer Neighbourhood Team and a Dedicated Ward Officer in Greenhill. My role is to provide reassurance and support to the community while tackling issues from violent crime to anti-social behaviour. 

The role entails collaborating with local stakeholders and creating long term solutions for issues that are affecting the ward. 

The role is different to my expectations, but it has allowed me to create a personal relationship with the community and make a more long-term impact on my ward and the community.

 

2) How long have you worked for the Met? 

I joined the Metropolitan Police Service in July 2019

 

3) What made you want to join?

It has been a childhood dream of mine to be a police officer. Growing up, I never saw any Asian female police officers where I lived. I realised the only way to change that, was to actually become the change I wanted to see by representing my community. 

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As an Asian female joining the police was not a career choice that my family were necessarily on board with in the beginning. They naturally had apprehensions with regards to the dangers of the job, as well as having to face racism from within the organisation.

I feel this is not as prevalent now and personally I have only experienced positivity and acceptance from my colleagues.

Working for the Met, we are like a big family and I know my Met family have my back when I’m patrolling and if something went wrong, they would be by my side to assist in less than two minutes.

I decided to become a police officer when I saw an advert on a graduate jobs website for Police Now’s graduate leadership programme, although this is not the traditional entry method it has allowed me to utilise my degree whilst also doing my dream job.

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The job now provides many different entry methods as well as supporting higher education.  In addition, there are many different paths and specialisms within policing and the Met enables those wishing to take those opportunities to do so.

I have been able to develop my problem-solving skills, fast pace decision making all whilst giving back and supporting the community.

 

4) What is the most difficult part of your job?

One of the most difficult aspects of the job is having a continuously changing shift pattern meaning you have to plan when you’re meeting your friends and family weeks/months in advance. Especially when most of them only have weekends off.

My main drive to join the police was so that I could help people. A challenging aspect of the job is trying to help someone who doesn’t want your help or is not in a place to accept it.

There have been instances where I have referred people to different agencies so that they will receive help and support they need, but that person doesn’t want to accept it and this can be really disheartening. 

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Another tough aspect of the job is understanding that I cannot solve every problem in the world, at the end of the day I am only human but I can always try my best.

 

5) What is the best part of your job?

I would say one of the best parts of my job has been to use my language skills to provide help and reassurance to the public.

Harrow has a large Asian population and for me being able to speak Hindi has allowed members of the Asian community to better explain their grievances and feel better heard by a police officer who can relate to them.

I always heard police officers say that no day is the same, and I have found that to be so true.

Every day is exciting, I get to meet so many interesting people with such varied stories. So far, the experience has been eye opening and profoundly rewarding.