For September’s Behind the Badge, Harrow Online caught up with Inspector Jen Caswell, based at Colindale, who has been part of the Met Police force 15 years.
1. What is your current role?
I have worked for the Met for 15 years. I spent my first 12 years as a PC in Haringey mainly on response. I then got promoted to Sergeant, based in East Area for two-and-a-half years, and have recently been promoted to Inspector, based at Colindale, again on response. This means I am in charge of one of the teams that answer the 999 calls to residents of Barnet.
2. What made you decide to become a police officer?
I always wanted to be a Police Officer since the age of 10. I didn’t know any Police Officers, but I suspect had watched The Bill. My Dad loves retelling the story that my mind was made up that early on, and how proud he is that here I am many years later having done exactly as I planned.
3. What are the difficult things in your job that the public may not realise?
I don’t think people realise the sheer wide spectrum of calls we deal with. As response officers, no two days are the same. If someone isn’t happy with how long it has taken police to arrive, or the quality of their interaction, it may well be that that officer needs speaking to by a supervisor. But equally, they may well have just been dealing with a horrific incident. They may have broken the news of a death of a loved one. Or seen a suicidal person suffering a mental health crisis and convinced them not to jump off a bridge, or tackled a knife away from someone, or seen a baby covered with bruises. I expect my officers to be empathetic and professional. But sometimes we are human, and require empathy back.
4. What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
As cheesy as it sounds, the same reason I joined the job in the first place; helping people. Except now, as an Inspector, it’s not just the public I want to help, but my officers too.
5. What advice would you give to people thinking of joining the Met?
6. One more thing about me…
While I work shift patterns and rarely get a weekend off….. I’m still a proud owner of a Spurs Season Ticket of 20 years, and go to as many matches as I can. Best team in North London!
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