Detective Sergeant Lucy Edgeworth's career story

Published on 30 July 2021
From covert policing to investigation and managing a team
Case study
4 mins read
A police officer taking notes

Joining the police

I always had an interest in the human mind and why people do what they do and as a student doing my A levels, I became really interested in why people commit the most serious of crimes, from there I decided to do a degree in psychology.

On completion of my degree, I was at a crossroads, I wanted to work with offenders and was really interested in rehabilitation but I was also interested in the secret worlds of policing and the security services.

I left university intending on having a year away from study while I figured out what I wanted to do. Two years later I was joining the police.

Early career

As someone with a huge amount of enthusiasm, I quickly took on additional study as completed a foundation degree in police studies as a probationer. At this point, I had all intentions of becoming a sergeant within a few years.

Progression

While a probationer I became aware of other opportunities open to me in the covert arena of policing and I quickly became part of Gloucestershire's major crime unit and trained as a level 1 surveillance operative.

I found my niche in covert policing and stayed for 12 years, during that time I had three children, including twins. On promotion I was allocated a detective sergeant role within investigations, I knew that having been in specialist roles for 12 years I needed to 're-chip' and get back to main office work to refresh my knowledge and skills.

I’ve had to learn new skills, new systems, and new law. It’s been a massive learning curve which I’m still on.

Current role

I find enjoyment in my role by helping my colleagues find a good work/life balance – having emotional intelligence is key as a supervisor in today’s policing – you need to be able to recognise when your team are under pressure and have the ability to make brave decisions to reduce their workload and to allow for give and take.

Looking at the results my team get and protecting the most vulnerable from harm is fulfilling.

Expectations

The difference between what I expected and reality were not that far apart, I’ve been fortunate that my career has mainly played out the way I wanted it to, bar the two unsuccessful promotion attempts.

I intend on taking my inspectors exam this year, though as I don’t need to pick up the books quite yet I took on the additional role of federation representation and was successful.

I am part of our force’s people development programme (institute for learning management level 5 qualification) and I am also our force’s College of Policing ambassador.