Meet Detective Ben Beasley
From Armed Response Vehicles to being a Detective, our colleague Acting Detective Inspector Ben Beasley wanted a career that would challenge him and allow him to bring justice and protect our communities. We have recently spoken to him about his career with us at TVP.
Current Role: Acting Detective Inspector (DI), Reading Priority Crime
Age at joining: 22
Length of Service: 21 years
Ben, what attracted you to policing? When I finished university, I was not exactly sure what I wanted to do for a career. I had been interested in joining the police since I was young, having met school officers and seen policing on TV. I enjoy being out and about and meeting people from all walks of life. Plus of course, I had a strong feeling that I wanted a purposeful job where I could make a positive difference to people’s lives. I did not want a job where I was sat in an office doing the same thing day in, day out. I thought I would take the plunge and join the police. That was nearly 21 years ago, and I have not looked back.
How has your career in policing progressed so far? When I started, I had every intention of joining CID (Criminal Investigation Department), as I had an interest in complex investigations. Despite my initial thoughts, I found that I really enjoyed being in uniform. I spent 4 years on a uniform Incident & Response team in Reading, 3 years as a Neighbourhood Officer in Whitley, and then 7 years as a PC on the Armed Response Vehicles. In 2017 I was promoted to Sergeant and went back to a uniform response team for a year before returning to the Armed Response Vehicles. In 2020 I decided to have a change of direction. I wanted to expand my knowledge of investigations and broaden my career options. I became a Detective Sergeant in the Priority Crime Team and then CID. I am currently Acting DI (Detective Inspector) on the Priority Crime Team in Reading. I have really enjoyed the move into investigations, I find it really challenging and wish I had made the move sooner.
Why did you decide to become a Detective? Several reasons. Firstly, I want to develop myself for promotion to Inspector. Becoming a Detective increases my knowledge and I felt would make me better able to manage a team. Secondly, for the challenge. I had spent 17 years in uniform and felt that I had achieved all I set out to in that area. I wanted to pick up new skills and push myself. Finally, moving forward in my career becoming a Detective opens many more options.
Have you felt supported during your career development? I have had support from my colleagues and took part in specialised training, such as the CID course and interview skills. Coming into a DS (Detective Sergeant) role with no direct Detective experience was challenging, but I drew on experience from others, the other DI and of course from the experienced officers on my team. At no point was I made to feel like I was asking silly questions, and I felt fully supported.
What would a day-to-day look like for you as a Detective? An average day differs depending on your role, either as a DC, DS or DI. My day as an acting DI will start by taking a handover from the team on duty. This will be jobs that are being progressed and live jobs coming in. I will then brief with my team and allocate these incidents, considering the ongoing workload my team has. I will prioritise the jobs around the risk we have. Plus of course, anything can happen at any time so at the drop of a hat we may be doing anything!
What is it like to work in CID (Criminal Investigation Department) compared to other departments? I have found the jobs in CID more complex than in PCT (Priority Crime Team). The pace is slower, but the investigations have more depth. The great thing about being a DS is that you often end up covering the other department. I also enjoyed PCT because of the higher pace and greater number of suspects we build cases against.
In your opinion, what makes a great detective? A good communicator and a strong work ethic. Having a curious mind and analysing the jobs to get to the bottom of each enquiry can involve some difficult conversations. Having the skills to deal with a variety of people is important. Work ethic is important. The days can be long and the work challenging so you need to be resilient.
What would you say to someone considering becoming a detective? I have found the work extremely rewarding. I had a brilliant time in uniform but wish I had done become a detective sooner. Although I no longer put the handcuffs on people, I have made a bigger impact in terms of locking away criminals as a DS than I did as a PC. Being a detective opens doors and really enhances your career opportunities. Do it!
Feeling inspired and want to learn more about working as a Detective? If you hold a degree or are in your final year of your study in any field, our Detective DHEP programme could be for you.
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