Meet… Detective Constable Emma Pointon
“Nothing good comes from the comfort zone, if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.”
Role: Detective Constable, Reading Priority Crime Team (PCT)
Age at joining: 22
Length of Service: 2 years
You’ve just passed your probation Emma, how are you finding life in investigation?
Definitely better than expectations, although with no previous contacts in the police I didn’t really know what to expect. I feel lucky to be on a great team where everyone is supportive, working together to achieve results. It’s been really hard work, but already I can’t imagine doing anything else as a career.
What does your day to day role as a detective involve?
I work on a local priority crime team (PCT), we deal with lower level volume crime like burglary, robbery, ABH, some GBH, some drug related crime. We get involved in planning operations and arranging warrants. Enquiries can often be slower time and there is definitely more paperwork, but the crimes are serious and it’s giving me a great grounding. I want to learn as much as I can before progressing onto more serious crime teams.
You’re managing your own investigations, tell us about one.
I dealt with a burglary where a bank card was stolen from a house. CSI were involved to help gather forensic evidence. I had to interview the homeowner and a local witness, they identified a suspect vehicle and when the card was used locally we were able to gather CCTV evidence which identified a suspect and led to an arrest. We interviewed the suspect and were able to charge them, the case went to court and they were found guilty on two counts of fraud. Seeing the whole case through from start to finish and gaining a result for the victim was very rewarding.
Where did your interest in policing come from?
Don’t ask me why but at 13 I identified policing as the career I wanted to pursue. I selected my A ‘levels based on policing; Psychology, Sociology, English and Law before studying for a BSc Psychology. During my time at Uni I volunteered in a local prison, supporting offenders who were studying English – it brought me into contact with different people in an environment where it was important to know boundaries.
What research did you do?
I looked at all the forces around me, it was good to consider options and I also went on a ride-along. TVP were advertising a fast track to detective programme and it sounded interesting. I looked further in to it and spoke to people – they warned me it would be a full on programme but I felt up for the challenge and knew I could dedicate myself.
How challenging has it been?
You definitely have to be prepared to put the work in, especially when you’re working on response or shift and having to study for your NIE on rest days. As long as you’re organised and can prioritise its manageable. My philosophy is that nothing good comes from the comfort zone, if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you. I have had great support along the way including a detective mentor and colleagues have been helpful if I needed to ask questions.
In your opinion what makes a great detective?
Patience, building a good case can take time. An ability to manage your time and priorities. You must be able to adapt and cope with uncomfortable situations. Compassion, you’re often dealing with people experiencing the worst moment of their life, I am always mindful whilst it might not be my first burglary but it could be theirs.
What would you say to others considering the career?
I’d recommend it 100%. Everyone is always so interested in what you do as a detective. The variety of work and opportunities is huge and there are new challenges every day.