RAYLEIGH has just welcomed its newest Police Constable, Lauren Hoper

RAYLEIGH has just welcomed its newest Police Constable, Lauren Hoper

RAYLEIGH has just welcomed its newest Police Constable, Lauren Hoper.

One of the 70 officers who took their oath to the King on Friday, January 20, PC Hooper has only recently turned 18, but comes from a long line of police officers and so policing is in her blood, as well as the forefront of her mind.

She said: “Being a police officer means a lot to me, in my family we have over 100 years together in policing.

“I’m now the fourth generation to qualify and I’m extremely proud to carry on the tradition. Even my Great Grandad served in the war, it’s always been so inspiring to me, and it makes you feel like you’re a part of something good.”

Although policing has always been a passion, PC Hooper wasn’t always confident about joining, because she has autism and dyslexia.

She said: “There were times where I never thought I’d get to this point because I feared I’d be the odd one out. But once I took the first step and researched my options, I knew I couldn’t let that hold me back.”

When it comes to breaking stereotypes, PC Hooper wants to shatter the glass ceiling: “Obviously being neuro-diverse always has its challenges in life, but I’ve still been able to train, pass the tests and even became one of the drill leads at the passing out parade which was a proud moment for all my family.”

PC Hooper found the training a little dauting at first, as she explained: “It was the biggest challenge of balancing the intense physical training with the academic side.

“But the best part of training for me is meeting a mixture of people, from fellow recruits to trainers and officers. Everyone is so interesting and has so much to share.”

Now she’s completed the training, she has her eyes set on the next challenge

“I would like to work up the ranks and become a leader, like my dad, but I’m also interested in working with the Hate Crime unit, those routes have always appealed to me, but you never know what can happen, there are so many opportunities here to explore and so many places you can go.

“I’m also interested in the Community Policing Team and being out there and interacting with members of the public on a daily basis, because ultimately, I want to be there for my community, to serve Essex and to make a difference.”

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