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Interview: ACC Vicki Evans

Police Oracle talks to Cambridgeshire Constabulary's newly appointed Assistant Chief Constable, Vicki Evans about diversity, direct entry and opportunities for women in senior policing roles.
Published - 28/05/2020 By - Chloe Livadeas

Vicki Evans was previously Temporary ACC at Dyfed-Powys. She is replacing Sharn Basra, who has returned to Bedfordshire Police.

In January 2018, ACC Evans transferred to Dyfed-Powys Police as Chief Superintendent of Territorial Policing, before being promoted to Temporary ACC in November 2018 with responsibility for operational policing.

She led the force strategic response for Mental Health and the Early Action Together programme, and was chair of the Local Resilience Forum for Dyfed Powys.

She thinks policing is currently a “really good environment" for senior women officers.

“I think it's really positive as far as role modelling for officers and staff coming up through the organisation because you've got some really good females in senior staff roles as well.

“It's something we will always need to keep working on in policing nationally.”

There are currently six female chief officers, down from a high of ten in 2014. The forces are Durham, Gwent, Hampshire, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and the Metropolitan Police. The proportion of women officers throughout the ranks is the highest it has ever been.

ACC Evans said: “It goes in cycles and a couple of changes, appointments or retirements can alter the landscape quickly. But I think certainly the future looks really, really promising as far as making sure that we've got good diversity in the chief officer ranks and it's certainly something that NPCC are really championing and focusing on as well.”

ACC Evans has nearly 20 years policing experience, first joining  Hertfordshire Constabulary in 2001. She cut her teeth working in crime investigation, serious and organised crime and covert policing.

In 2009 she transferred to Bedfordshire Police and worked in crime investigation and organisational support roles, including Detective Chief Inspector for Luton and South Bedfordshire, and more recently as Detective Superintendent for crime.

On the subject of direct entry as a route to the chief ranks versus the long policing career she has had, ACC Evans said she saw “huge value in both” as they “bring different things to the organisation”.

“I really do think we in policing recognise that we need to think differently about how we ensure and monitor diversity in the wider sense of the word,” she said.

“We have to ensure that we're supporting the people who come into policing via whatever route so that we help them and ensure that we're supporting people to gain the knowledge in areas where perhaps they haven't had the experience before. But also that we're drawing on their skills that they bring from other industries and they're teaching us. That's what it's about when you're creating good, positive organisations.”

ACC Evans said the biggest challenge for all of policing now is how to understand the impacts of COVID-19 and what the new normal looks like.

“But that’s one of the joys and one of the good things about being a senior police officer, isn't it? We know that there's challenges and things we haven't dealt with before. And it's about how we will work together to overcome them,” she added.

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