'You can be a good mother and police officer' - says West Yorkshire Chief Inspector who fronts new government campaign

Chief Inspector Tanya Wilkins from West Yorkshire Police is the face of a new Home Office campaign encouraging parents to apply for roles within the police service.
Chief Inspector Tanya Wilkins from West Yorkshire Police is the face of a new Home Office campaign encouraging parents to apply for roles within the police service.
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A West Yorkshire Police officer is the face of a new government campaign aimed at encouraging parents to apply for a job within the police service.

Chief Inspector Tanya Wilkins has recorded the short film as part of the new campaign by the Home Office urging people to apply for one of the 20,000 new police constable roles created by the Government.

The 41-year-old from Leeds, is currently based in Wakefield and is married with a six-year-old daughter.

She said: “When I speak to women who are considering about joining the police, a lot of them say ‘I’m too old now’ or ‘I’ve got children’ and it’s probably not the right job for them and I think people don’t realise actually that you can be a mother and a police officer at the same time.

“For me I have got a daughter who is six-years-old, but what’s really good about policing is you’ve got flexible working and there are opportunities for part-time working so it is quite easy to juggle.”

Chief Inspector Wilkins has served with the West Yorkshire force for 19 years, first joining as a police constable in 2001.

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After taking maternity leave following the birth of her daughter, she returned to her job and has since been promoted through the ranks.

She said: "I don't want people to wrongly think that being a parent is a barrier if you want to join the police, because it really isn't.

"The force were really flexible and allowed me to alter my working days to fit around childcare and since then I have also gained promotion. Just because I have a child doesn't mean I don't want to progress in my career."

The Chief Inspector first became interested in joining the force after she was a victim of burglary.

"I rung the police and they sent a black female officer to my house to investigate," she said.

"I was intrigued as I always thought women, and in particular black women, were underrepresented by police forces, so I grilled her about the job and she reassured me how great it was, so I applied.

"I hope now that I inspire other women to join the police like that officer did me."