Siobhan Aldridge is a serving Police Officer of South Wales Police. In the run up to our LeadHerShip – Women in the Police Force online event, we asked Siobhan to tell us about why she became a police officer and her journey to date. Here’s what she told us…
From my earliest years I was determined to become a Police Officer above all other possible avenues.
Despite always believing that my caring nature should be the focus of my life I was nevertheless determined that there should be an underlying strength and practical side to my compassionate nature. It is also true that being a dual-heritage female – Welsh and Indian – living in the South West Wales area, I saw no role model who mirrored my gender and ethnicity.
As a consequence, I became determined to be that role model myself, displaying characteristics of professionalism and commitment to positive change.
This may seem strange, that a woman of dual-heritage would wish to enter a profession which is notoriously male oriented, but I have always been up for a challenge.
So, I pushed myself in education and, after completing my A-Levels, I entered the University of South Wales to study Police Studies then Police Sciences at Honours Degree Level.
Supporting this move I was selected as one of the top five students to be on the Advanced Appointment Scheme process which involved me successfully applying for and completing training as a Special Constable with an opportunity to fast track progress to a Police Officer following my graduation.
As a result I was able to augment my theoretical studies with the practical experience of being a voluntary serving constable.
Following completion of my studies and successfully achieving my degree, despite the freezing of Police Officer recruitment in South Wales at the time, I persevered in my role as a Special Constable until an opportunity arose to apply to become a Police Community Support Officer (PSCO).
I believe being a PCSO has been a vital experience in my career within the Police, the role benefitted me in advancing my skills of communication, problem solving and affirming the importance of listening and forming positive working relationships with communities in South Wales. This only secured my dedication to applying to become a Police Officer which I successfully achieved in 2013.
Since this time South Wales Police has opened a world of opportunities to me which I have grasped and developed with enthusiasm.
I have served as a Frontline Response Officer, worked on a Neighbourhood and proactive drugs team, I have been a Missing Persons Investigation Officer and Acting Sergeant.
I have also completed many courses within South Wales Police to further my knowledge of the different initiatives and projects we conduct within South Wales Police and other forces.
I have also achieved the qualifications of Sexual Offences Liaison Officer, Police Support Unit Officer, and Police Medic Officer, and have recently applied to become an Authorised Firearms Officer.
Currently, I am a Representative Workforce Officer, working strategically towards South Wales Police truly reflecting the communities we serve. I believe that the next generation will play a crucial role in the future of Policing, especially young females, from all diverse backgrounds and upbringings.
The police has provided me with vast opportunities to achieve an enriched and fulfilling career. It has taught me the importance of self-awareness, patience, strength and resilience not just in a professional capacity but also personally.
I truly believe that if I can be a Police Officer, anyone can, but what you need is that fire and determination in yourself to be and inspire difference – You can hold the ability to positively impact people’s lives! Your uniqueness, is your empowerment and that is what I strive to live by.
PC Siobhan Aldridge
South Wales Police