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Liz, Police Inspector


My name is Liz Perry and I’m currently the neighbourhood policing area commander for the Harborough  district and Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston.

Looking at the Ladybird books, do you think your job is like the one depicted in the book?

I think there are some similarities because policing things will always be the same, we still go round catching criminals, but I think that now modern policing is now very different to the ways that it is depicted in the books and there are a lot of things that are actually very different, particularly in the uniform and the amount of women that we have in the police force and the types of jobs that we do I think. In some of these it’s quite descriptive on the kind of day to day things they are doing, the more traditional bobby on the beat. So, whilst there is an element of that, obviously there’s a lot more that we do around vulnerabilities in the police now.

What are the main difference is between now and then?

In the books it’s quite traditional in kind of looking at the more traditional stereotypes people would have experienced back then and those kind of incidents that you would have responded to then. So that would be things like if there was a fire you would expect to see the police and the fire service at a fire or if there is a burglary for example, you would, back then, have police responding to burglaries the same way you do now. But there is a change in the way that policing works, we obviously deal with a lot more of what would be recognised as a lot more vulnerabilities, there’s a lot more involvement in supporting people with mental health within the community.

At the time those books were written there potentially wouldn’t have been as much focus on things like domestic violence and mental health and missing persons, for example. We get quite a lot of people who are reported missing, we start to see things like people become confused, they might kind of wander off from care homes and things like that. And again, things like public order incidents, so you have got back then there would have been certain elements of the riots and things in the 80s, whereas now we have a lot more rigid policing, round the football for example, and we see a lot more protests and things and we also offer a lot of support, it’s called mutual aid, where our officers will go down to London, for example when you have the Coronation or the Jubilee. So, whilst you’re always going to have very those fundamental basics of crime, policing’s a lot more complex now with the emergence of cyber crime and missing people and vulnerability and a lot of partnership working, which is a good thing. So yes, I would say there are a significant amount of changes, not just in the way that we police, in the way that we dress, in the demographic of the police service as well, I think it’s now a lot more reflective of the communities that we serve and police with than potentially we would have done in the 1970s and 1960s.

What makes your job special?

I joined policing because I wanted to help people and when I was looking at the kind of careers I could go into it was always coming back to those kind of professions that were wanting to help people, wanting to make a difference, wanting to feel that I’m part of a community. Not only the community that I live in, but you are part of a community in policing, you’re a police family.

So, what I think makes my job really special is that in the job that I’m in at the moment being in charge of the area that we’re in at the minute, Market Harborough, the district, Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston, I’m responsible for all the response officers, they’re the ones that go to the 999 calls. I’m responsible for the dedicated neighbourhood officers, they’re the ones that are the more traditional bobby on the beat that will go out and engage with the community, go to events, do a lot of problem solving in the community and we also work very, very closely with our detectives in CID. But ultimately the goal is the same, it is that we want to protect and support the communities, safeguard people, protect people and ultimately stop bad guys really and bring justice to those people that are causing the most harm.

Have you always worked in Harborough?

I’ve been in the police for sixteen years. When I joined I was a city cop, then I moved into CID where we worked on serious acquisitive crimes. Then I had a brief period of maternity leave ‘cause I have two children, so I went off for a year and when I came back I moved into the force intelligence bureaus, so that is the more covert side of policing. What we do there is looking at the most serious criminals that we have within all of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. And then from there I decided to go for promotion and became a city neighbourhood sergeant in Leicester City Centre. I was there for two and half years and from there moved onto response policing at Braunstone and then I moved into being a detective sergeant for CID at Hinkley, then moved across to Market Harborough as a detective sergeant where I was for a year. Then I decided to go for promotion again and became an operational command inspector, so that’s the inspector that’s in charge of all response policing across the whole of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. I did that for eighteen months , then I moved into the senior management team, which a lot of it was kind of more strategic, more looking at policies and procedures that underpin policing, policing operations. Then I moved to be the NPA commander for Market Harborough in September 2022 and I’ve been there since then and I love it, I really enjoy it. I do lots of other things, I’m also a post incident manager, so that’s any time we have any kind of critical incident in the force I go and work in the post incident management suite.

I’m also heavily involved in the Women’s Inclusive Network, I’ve been in the committee since 2013, helped plan events, introduced ‘keep in touch days’ for women who have been off on maternity leave and want to come and touch base with people in the force just so they still feel like they’re included in the organisation. So, I’ve worked on off at Harborough and all across the force really and still love it and absolutely love being the NPA commander for Market Harborough

What’s special about doing your job in the Harborough area?

We’re also quite lucky here in the Harborough district in that I’m obviously a female NPA commander, both of my  deputies are women, as well as our CID detective inspector, she’s also a woman. So really good, really happy with that.