Holly Campbell

Professional Policing BA (Hons)

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  • Year of graduation: 2020
  • Current job title: Police Constable
  • Organisation: Northamptonshire Police
  • Industry sector: Criminal Justice

Your Current Role

What is your current employment? What responsibilities do you have within the role?

I’m currently working for Northamptonshire Police as a Response Officer. My main responsibility within this role is to respond to incoming 999 calls to the Police. I also then deal with any prisoners who have been arrested and interview them.

Describe the aspects of your role you find most enjoyable and rewarding, and those you find particularly challenging.

There are many aspects of my job which I enjoy, including working as part of a likeminded team, but the most enjoyable part is working with so many people within the community and meeting new people every day. When I deal with an incident and protect members of the community and help them within their time of need, this is always so rewarding to me. However with the highs of the job, there are also some low points. Dealing with 999 calls means dealing with people in their time of crisis – I’ve dealt with multiple deaths and had to support the family members with their grief and I’ve also had to deal with people struggling with their mental health and feeling as though they can’t go on anymore. This part of the job will never get any easier, but I always go home feeling as though I’ve made a difference.

Your University / Career Journey

Describe your career progression so far, and any plans or hopes you have for the future.

As part of my degree, I worked as a Special Constable, progressing to a Special Sergeant with my own team to look after. I’m now working as a Police Constable on Response, then once I’m fully qualified in my rank as Police Constable, I hope to work as a Dog Handler.

How do you think that your time at UON helped your career or personal development?

It taught me the basics of being a good Police Officer. I learnt all the legislation and what the role of an Officer actually is, so without this support and guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am today. UON also gave me great memories and developed me so much as a person and this is the stepping-stone you need to be a good officer.

Which skills and knowledge/understanding gained during your degree are useful in your role?

The lecturers at UON have all worked within the field, ranging from Inspectors to Barristers, so they passed on all their knowledge and stories to us, which was useful insight into the role. A lot of our degree involved roleplay scenarios and this enabled us to put the knowledge we’d learnt in lectures into practical scenarios. A lot of the scenarios we covered are incidents that I now go to on a daily basis, so without the knowledge from UON, I wouldn’t feel as comfortable in these situations.

What did you most enjoy about your course at Northampton?

I really enjoyed learning about the role of an officer and gaining insight into the role from the many years of experience the lecturers have. Every day we were told stories about the job and, if anything, it made me more determined to work hard at university and get into the role as an officer. The course itself was really diverse, with modules ranging from cybercrime to dealing with vulnerable persons – this gave me a really good start to my career and helped me become a better officer.

How would you describe the academic team?

Without sounding too clichéd, I couldn’t have asked for better. With the combined knowledge of all the lecturers, I don’t think you could have a more experienced team. They have years of experience in many different roles within the Criminal Justice system, which meant that between them, they’ve pretty much seen it all. They were so supportive and helpful and would often go above and beyond to help their students that needed anything. Above anything else, they made the lectures enjoyable and this made me more determined to do well.

Your Advice

What advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this work, e.g. tips on gaining entry, accessing opportunities, anything you wish you’d known earlier?

Make good use of the teams at Northampton, as this was something I could have used more. The Changemaker Hub can help with advice, dealing with interviews and providing you with some good opportunities. Also, take advantage of your lecturers – they’ve already been within the role and have so much experience, so can point you in the right direction of many different opportunities.

How would you promote the University of Northampton to prospective students?

A great university which cares about your future after university life has ended.

How would you summarise your University of Northampton experience?

Although it was a very stressful three years, UON gave me the best start to my career by giving me so much knowledge and insight into the job. It has also given me friends for life and memories that I can look back on. I strongly believe that without going to UON I wouldn’t be where I am today, in my dream job.