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New recruitment inspector’s passion for positive action

7 Jan 2022

As a mixed heritage female police officer, Hertfordshire Detective Inspector Gemma Badat believes passionately in the importance of recruiting more police officers from diverse backgrounds.

Gemma, who recently took on the Positive Action Recruitment and Retention role in our Workforce Development Unit, explained: “I was attracted to this role as it really gave me the opportunity to change the face of Hertfordshire Constabulary. It is vitally important that the constabulary is representative of the communities that we serve. We need to engage with all communities to understand their needs and break down barriers to be effective in keeping people safe.

“This role is particularly important to me as a mixed heritage female inspector: growing up in the ‘90s I faced racist comments about the colour of my skin being different in a predominantly white community, and whilst this was unpleasant it spurred me on to succeed, as I value all difference and believe that now is the time for people of colour to take responsibility and be part of the change.”

Originally, West Yorkshire-born Gemma planned to train as a teacher after her degree in English literature and history, but she had a change of heart applying to Herts because of the low crime rate and high levels of public satisfaction: “As corny and trite as it may sound, I wanted to make a difference within the community and help people in their time of need.”

With 17 years’ experience across all kinds of teams, from Intervention response to investigating serious and complex crimes such as burglaries and assaults to working in the units which investigate sexual offences, child sexual exploitation and the child online safeguarding team, she describes policing as “a truly rewarding career where everyone genuinely wants to make a difference”.

“The teams I’ve worked with display such compassion and care dealing with victims and witnesses of crime and safeguarding vulnerable members of the public,” she said. “Being a frontline police officer isn’t an easy role, as you never know what the next call will be and what will be expected of you. It is a privileged role where we are invited into people’s lives and see people at their lowest ebb; working shifts can also take its toll, however the team spirit will see you through the longest of shifts.”

Mother to a four year old, outside of work Gemma’s a keen cook and likes to spend time with family and friends, keeping fit by running and doing HiiT training.

She’s got a busy year ahead as we look to recruit more than 300 police officers. “Policing is a challenging role and facing challenging times, receiving a lot of negative press, and at times it seems you can’t do right for doing wrong; however, it offers a unique opportunity to make a difference in peoples’ lives.

“Diversity within the organisation is more important now than ever. It’s about valuing difference, be it race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, faith, and age. Society is changing and people need to be able to relate to the police as an individual and not just as an organisation to ensure that they feel listened to and understood and for us to work together.”

↪️ If you feel inspired to become a Hertfordshire police officer, visit our police officer recruitment website (opens in a new window) to find out how to apply and register your interest.

↪️ Through our ‘Positive Action’ scheme, Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to building relationships with under-represented groups and encouraging them to join our policing family. For more information and support visit our police officer recruitment website diversity page (opens in a new window).


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