Apprentice constable aiming to be a role model to others
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A desire to become a role model to others was behind an apprentice officer’s decision to join the police.
Annaleise Howell is now 16 months into her apprenticeship and is currently part of Nottinghamshire Police’s response team.
While admitting being a female ethnic minority officer can be challenging, the Nottingham-born apprentice insisted she enjoys the role every day.
“My drive and passion are what keeps me going and knowing I can inspire others gives me the encouragement to come to work”, said Annaleise.
“I have enjoyed every day of my time on response and really enjoy investigating crime and bringing justice and support to victims.
“I want to demonstrate to the people and the communities we serve that the police are more than a badge; we are there to provide society with comfort as well as aid in the identification of criminal activity.
“As well as that, I want to serve as an example and be a role model for the Black community, to increase public confidence and hopefully help encourage more people from ethnic minorities to join the police.
“My goal long-term is to have contributed to a significant social shift in the community by the time I finish my career as an officer. In the meantime, my aim is to make Nottinghamshire Police a better police force than it was yesterday.
“Being a role model, influencing people's opinions simply by my love for my work, and – above all—wearing the police badge with honour, are what I want to be recognised for.”
The apprentice police constable was herself inspired to start her current career path, following a visit to her college by a former Nottinghamshire Police career advisor.
Nigel Best, who recently retired from the force, was carrying out a presentation on increasing diversity in recruitment, and his words really struck a chord with Annaleise, who applied for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme soon afterwards.
Following months of hard work, her application was successful and by October 2022, Annaleise’s “dreams came true” when she found herself at the training school at her home-town police force.
She said: “If you ask me to what made me to apply for the apprenticeship, I only have a one word answer, and that’s Nigel.
“Nigel has been my biggest influence in joining the police, with my passion starting when he visited my college and I saw that many people in my class weren’t really listening to what was being said.
“I sat in my class looking around the room and I thought, one day I want my children and family to grow up in a community where they feel safe and where the police are trusted more.
“I am really passionate about the role the police play in maintaining public confidence – it is critical to recognise the occasions when we can foster this, as well as trust in the communities we serve.
“Being part of Nottinghamshire’s police force makes me incredibly proud and I want others to feel that too.
“Since joining, I’ve attended multiple colleges in an attempt to increase diversity in the police, and I have spoken to multiple young people from these courses who have told me my passion and drive inspired them to apply.
“I would say that encouraging more young people from the Black community and other ethnic minorities to do this has probably been my proudest achievement so far.”
Annaleise added: “For those who are looking to do an apprenticeship, I would tell them to do it. If you’ve got a dream, chase it. Don’t be influenced by other people’s opinions and do what makes you happy.
“Those who believe they are not ‘academically fit’ or appropriate for an apprenticeship are mistaken. For example, I battle with dyslexia.
“Before joining I would always be afraid of trying new things as I didn’t have the confidence.
“However, after six months in training school and 10 months on response, this has changed. I am no longer afraid to try new things, speak to new people and challenge the status quo.”
Annaleise has shared her story as part of National Apprenticeship Week, which runs until Sunday (11 February).