"In this job, you’ve got to know your direction and not be scared to speak out about where you want to go."
Detective Inspector Lyndsey Curtis
Detective Inspector Lyndsey Curtis’ 21-year career at Derbyshire Constabulary has had many twists and turns, but it all began with crime documentaries.
“I remember watching programmes and reading books about serial killers, like the Yorkshire Ripper. I’ve always had an interest in people who commit serious crime, I just wanted to understand how their minds work.”
DI Curtis completed her GCSEs and A-Levels whilst working casual jobs, but there was only one option: policing. “I only did my A-Levels to bridge the gap before I was old enough to join.
“The jobs I had were mainly dealing with the public in bars and shops. It was nothing glamorous, just what I needed to do to earn some money and get experience of working with people.
“Working in customer services, you deal with people from all walks of life, so it stands you in good stead for the police.”
Lyndsey joined as an officer, working on the frontline in Matlock, before moving to Derby City and then joining a proactive team.
“From proactive, I moved to become a Sexual Offences Liaison Officer, dealing with victims of rape. Whilst in this role I did my exams to become a sergeant and a detective. Fortunately, I was successful at both.
“I then went into the Child Abuse team – it was one of the most fulfilling roles that I’ve done. It’s not just about prosecutions, it’s about supporting families and protecting children.
“When I came back after having my child, work was really good to me. I never worked part time, because I was a single parent and couldn’t afford to do it. So, I carried on doing full time hours with some flexibility.”
Lyndsey worked in various other teams, investigating domestic abuse, and managing dangerous persons before going back to work in uniform at Amber Valley.
“I wanted to do it as a reality check of what frontline officers deal with. I got back into dealing with the general public and leading a team of people.”
After being DI at Amber Valley, and then moving to Chesterfield, DI Curtis moved into intelligence management and then became DI for Organised Crime, her current role.
When talking about her varied career, DI Curtis says it’s all down to hard work and taking opportunities: “In this job, you’ve got to know your direction and not be scared to speak out about where you want to go.
“If you’re willing to put in the work, and be clear with your intentions, you can make your own luck.
“I would say formulate a path of where you want to be but don’t rush it. Stay in a role and get a good level of competence before trying to move on.
“You’ve got a long time in the job; you can learn and get good before moving on from a role. That goes for career progression horizontally as well as moving up the ranks – just enjoy the challenge you’ve got in front of you.”
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