Listen to PC Oliver Virtue speak about what motivated him to join the Northamptonshire Police detective pathway.
My name’s Olly Virtue, I’m 23 years old, originally from Hertfordshire and before I joined Northamptonshire Police, I had studied a degree at the University of Birmingham in Ancient History. Just before I joined, I was working as a cover teacher in a secondary school.
This role was really attractive to me because of the variety that it seemed like there would be, and when the opportunity came up, the fact that it was a fast track into the detective side, that was something that I was interested in. I wanted to do a job that was different every day and I’d previously done things that were generally the same day in day out, week in week out. I think also part of that was that you get to help people, that’s the sort of cliché answer but I think that is something that is sometimes understated, and it is ultimately about looking after people and looking out for people as much as it is about arresting people.
Before I joined, I tried to sort of limit my expectations of the role because I knew the only real experience I had of policing was through TV and film, and I know that often that’s a bit glamourised, but for me it was all about having an open mind.
Since joining I’ve learnt so much, probably more than I did in my degree for three years, which sounds terrible but just in my first few shifts I was dealing with so many different people and different crimes, different issues that people are having in their life. But now, I think there’s so much that goes into the role that people don’t necessarily see that you’re looking for missing people, that you’re dealing with mental health crises, and you’re having to do first aid for people. Generally, anything really that goes wrong the police are there to try and fix it.
Before joining I did have a few concerns. Initially, I think most of my family were quite excited by the prospect that I was going to join. I think a few family members were a little bit concerned about it, that there are dangers associated with the role, but ultimately everything is done to protect us. In terms of what my friends thought about me joining, again there were a few mixed views, but mostly it’s been really positive. I was told that I might lose friends having joined this job but so far all they’ve wanted to know is all of the stories and hear about what I’m doing day to day.
So in my previous roles I’ve not really always looked forward to coming into work or woken up with that drive to come in and make a difference but I think with this role, it really is the first job that I’ve had where every morning, no matter what the time of the shift, I’m always waking up and looking forward to what I want to do next, and it is addictive once you’ve started the shift pattern, and you want to go in and see what’s next and see who else you can help.