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Inspector Barry Gosling on working in neighbourhood policing

Published on 30 July 2021
'The results we achieve can be far-reaching and significant for the whole community, making a real difference to people’s lives'
Case study
4 mins read
Neighbourhood police officer

Before the police

I left school not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I was practical, interested in people and I wanted to make a difference. I studied a sport and exercise science degree and worked part-time as a gym instructor and personal trainer at various health clubs across London and Dorset.

I graduated from university and began work on a fast-track management scheme that led to a role of sales and marketing manager within the health club industry. I developed good communication skills, the ability to think outside the box and be creative in order to market new initiatives and good analytical skills as I needed to understand market trends and demographics.

After 10 years I felt like I needed a change and wanted to make a bigger difference to people’s lives. The police service was always something I had thought about and it provided the opportunity to help others.

Early career

I joined the police service 14 years ago without a real career plan, other than I always wanted to be in uniform and to help people.

After working on a patrol team for a short period of time, I joined a safer neighbourhood team where I worked closely with local schools, youth clubs and other community groups. This role allowed me to establish myself within the local community, listening to individual’s needs and concerns, and fully understand the issues that had the biggest impact on people’s lives.

I really enjoyed working with troubled young people that had come to police attention. I was able to support, coach and mentor them to reduce their offending and guided them back onto the right track. This gave me great satisfaction as I could see tangible and sustainable results.

The neighbourhood role also enabled me to protect vulnerable members of the community, provide reassurance and build trust and confidence in the police service. This is exactly how I imagined being a Police officer would be. I loved having the freedom to be creative and effectively resolve community problems. I was promoted to neighbourhood sergeant within this role.

Inspector Barry Gosling


Current role

I have been a neighbourhood inspector since November 2018. This is a role that I chose because I wholeheartedly believe in the effectiveness of neighbourhood policing.

I enjoy the challenge of problem-solving for community policing issues because the results we achieve can be far-reaching and significant for the whole community, making a real difference to people’s lives.

I enjoy having the freedom to be creative and innovative and working with partner agencies I feel part of a wider team outside of the police family.

As the inspector, I share my vision and values with my team and take great satisfaction in their successes.


I would like to continue to share my passion for neighbourhood policing with colleagues and inspire others to work within this rewarding environment. I hope one day to have a more strategic role providing me the opportunity to have a wider community impact.

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