Ian Bradshaw

PC - Emergency Response
West Midlands Police

Why did you choose to study Criminology and Social Policy at Loughborough University?

I decided on studying Criminology and Social Policy at Loughborough as the course prospectus really peaked my interest with the content that was going to be covered. The opportunity to learn about elements of criminal justice, why crime is committed, and policing, fitted well with what I was interested in. Having then toured the campus and hearing about the renowned night life made the decision pretty straightforward!

What did you enjoy about your course?

I enjoyed the diverse range of subjects covered. The first year was very wide-reaching, with areas such as politics, psychology and sociology covered. The modules then became more specific, with lectures based on perceptions of female criminals, living in a surveillance society and criminological theory. The work-life balance was great; volume of lectures left plenty of time to socialise, but work both in class and independently was demanding.

How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

Studying Criminology and Social Policy at Loughborough has helped me with job applications in my career. My dissertation was based on institutional racism within the police, and having completed this meant I was able to refer and talk about this confidently in interviews I’ve had within the public sector. Additionally, essay assignments have developed my report writing skills further to write concisely whilst still covering relevant points. As well as this, I got involved in helping new students move and settle into halls which assisted with competency examples.

Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study Criminology and Social Policy?

The advice I would give is to embrace all elements of the course, even if you think it won’t interest you. You never know when little pieces of knowledge you’ve learnt about or discussed will crop in your future career.

Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?

Nothing really extra-curricular; I got involved with hall activities which led to making many good friends. Some who I’m still in touch with almost 10 years on! But, I know the number of societies and sports teams for people to join are huge. If there’s one I wish I’d joined, it would’ve been Lufbra Sno.

Can you tell us about your career journey so far?

Since leaving Loughborough, I initially worked in retail working my way up to a team leader role. I then got the opportunity to work for The Parole Board for England & Wales, first in an administrative capacity, and then as a hearing case manager for prisoners who had upcoming parole reviews. I really valued this experience as it put me in contact with various stakeholders such as Probation, Prisons and Solicitors, and helped me understand their roles in this process more. I then applied for both Probation Officer and Police Officer at around the same time. I ended up choosing to work for West Midlands Police, and am approaching my third year there. It’s not something I ever thought I would do, but I’m glad I’ve chosen to do it!

Can you tell us more about your current role?

I am currently a PC for West Midlands Police. The training is intense and required two years to complete, with an initial 3-month classroom environment and the remainder being operational. Whilst operational I had to complete a portfolio demonstrating I was competent in all areas of policing which required well over 100 essay-type documents being submitted for review, so I tapped into my coursework writing experiences at Loughborough. I have had stints on Emergency Response, Investigation and Neighbourhood, which all bring their own challenges. Once I passed my probation, I elected to stay on Emergency Response as I felt this is where you build your foundations as a police officer. As a response officer I get sent to quite literally anything: be it domestic violence, mental health, burglaries, assaults, sudden deaths, shop thefts. I could go on. I have recently completed my training to be able to carry a taser, and have my police driving course coming up which should be fun!

What do you love the most about your job?

The thing I enjoy most about my job is that no one day is ever the same. Whilst on the face of it an incident may be come across as an assault, for example, it is 9/10 never that straight forward. One of the parties involved may be wanted for another offence. Someone may be an overstayer. The offence location may end up being a cannabis factory. A stolen car could also be there. Or in some cases, absolutely nothing has happened! Along with comradrie on the team, it makes the job really interesting.

What does the future hold for you?

At this point I am still just getting to grips with the work and the demands of being a PC. In the future I think I see myself looking to obtain my detective qualification and working on serious crime investigations. That could all change, though!

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

The proudest moment of my career so far has been completing my probation period and being confirmed in post as a PC. By far the most demanding thing I have ever done, and being thrown into the deep end into some really volatile and, at times, scary situations. There is a real sense of pride at the end when you’re recognised as being able to do it!