West Yorkshire’s retired Chief Constable Dee Collins says her greatest frustration with policing is not having enough resources to do the job.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post, Dee said she wanted to be remembered as someone who encouraged more women to join the police.
She told the newspaper: “We could do so much more if we had more money.
“Our communities deserve better, we have let them down too often. It is not because we don’t care, it is because we can’t do everything.
“Our officers care about people immensely, but are frustrated about the inability to do as much as they can because we just don’t have the resources.
“The impacts of Government cuts were really starting to show when I joined the force [in 2014], but I recognised that I could help and bring in some change to support people within the workplace and enable them to be the best they can be with what we have got for the public.
“There is still some work to do in society because we still see far too much domestic violence which manifests itself in different communities.
“We still see far too many sexual offences, so whilst things are improving and changing and people are valuing difference, there are still far too many that don’t recognise or understand why it is so important or choose to ignore it.”
Dee started her policing career in Cleveland Police, and was Assistant Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary for 12 years.
She then moved to West Yorkshire in 2014 to become Deputy Chief Constable. She became Temporary Chief Constable of the force in June 2014 and was appointed permanently in November 2016.
She is also President of the British Association for Women in Policing. Dee was awarded a CBE for services to policing and her work with BAWP in 2018.
She told the newspaper: “I would like to be remembered for raising and encouraging more and more women to join policing.
“I have seen women in this organisation feeling far more confident and putting themselves forward for selection opportunities.
“There are opportunities out there for all, but for a long time I think a lot of women didn’t feel quite confident enough.
“Having been the first female Chief Constable in West Yorkshire, I hope it has encouraged others to think anything is achievable.
“I am someone who started their career as a 22-year-old PC with an ambition to get to inspector at most.
“No-one is more surprised than me that I am Chief Constable, but, if in my own way I am encouraging others to enjoy policing and the fantastic career I have had, then that has got to be a good thing.”
See the full interview with Dee Collins here.
Date posted: May 1, 2019