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Staff stories - Direct Entry Inspectors

Inspector Lewis Lincoln-Smith
Inspector Lewis Lincoln-Smith
Inspector Lewis Lincoln-Gordon

I was previously a senior social worker in child protection, leading on complex investigations, practice development and organised criminality.

Predominately the challenge attracted me to apply to West Mercia Police through the DE Programme. I wouldn't say that I have always wanted to be a police officer, but I view a career in policing as an opportunity to impact positively on people's lives. I was impressed with West Mercia's focus on vulnerability and this fits with both my experience and passion.

The programme is intense, challenging and rewarding in equal measure. There are long periods where I have been away from my family with the College of Policing. However, this has been mitigated through developing strong relationships with fellow direct entrants across the country and also officers and friends in force.

Due to pressures on other services, policing is in a place where we are coming under increased pressure and having to manage situations, which five or ten years ago we wouldn't have had to. My knowledge and understanding of those services has come in useful so far during this programme. This programme is about bringing in different ways of thinking into policing and although there are set processes and procedures which need to be followed, I believe that difference is key to hold onto.

I feel very privileged to be an Inspector, a direct entrant and above all, a police officer. Being a police officer is now, possibly more than ever, undoubtedly a real challenge. However, it provides an opportunity to engage with people who have experienced a traumatic event or a series of traumatic events and reduce the likelihood of further occurrences of that trauma. The information provided to me as an Inspector is often confusing and I have to assess and make sense of that information to develop a decision. This is often challenging but always stimulating. I feel proud to be a part of the policing family and look forward to continuing my journey.

Inspector Lee Page
Inspector Lee Page
Inspector Lee Page

I originally trained as a journalist at university, and worked as a reporter then a news editor in local radio after graduating. I spent the following eight years in media relations and PR, working as a spokesperson for West Midlands Police and latterly a Communications Manager for the University of Warwick. At the same time I was volunteering as a Special Constable with West Midlands Police, based in Birmingham city centre. My interest in policing grew over time and I applied for the Direct Entry programme because I had developed a range of skills in my previous career, as well as working my way up to a management role, which I felt would be transferable to the police at the Inspector level.

My former career involved key skills such as communication, diplomacy and negotiation as well as organisation, creativity and an ability to keep calm under pressure. These are some of the attributes I feel have helped me in my policing role over the last two years. It is not an easy option to join the organisation at this level; the recruitment process is demanding, as is the commitment required in relation to classroom training and on-the-job learning. It is easily the toughest thing I've ever done in my life but also one of the most rewarding challenges I've taken on.

I feel that having come from an external background my perspectives on some aspects of our work are different to others who have been in the police service for a longer period of time. This can be in relation to specific operational matters or just general styles of management and leadership. I have found that these different views can often complement each other and help my colleagues and me to make the best decisions in the interests of our staff and the wider general public. The role provides a real opportunity to have a meaningful impact on those around you and make a positive difference to people's lives.