In our policing feature, we hear from some of the officers on your local teams.

This week we hear from PC Emma Cross, who is with the Met's South East Command Unit:

What were you doing before you joined the police?

I worked in a restaurant as an assistant manager; it was only when an ex-girlfriend persuaded me to join as a PCSO, because she said it was all about community engagement and I like talking to people, that I thought about it as a career. I started as a PCSO and, after three years, became a police officer and have worked in the south east ever since.

What was your view of the police before you joined the Met?

If I’m honest, when I was younger I didn’t really like the idea of the police even though I had never had any interactions with them. I didn’t realise they are nice and want to help. It was when I joined and made friends and saw beyond the uniform that I changed my mind.

Meet your local Met Police team: PC Anna Parsons

Tell us about your career

I’ve worked on neighbourhood teams, response teams, and was a schools officer before I joined community engagement. Working in schools was a real eye-opener because I think people don’t understand how complex the work is to help young people. You have to talk to them about issues, such as online safety, in a way that gets through to them so you help them stay safe. I really enjoyed it and now I’m working on community engagement, which is good for me because I do like chatting to people!

News Shopper:

Tell us about a memorable moment

One that stands out was a woman who was having a mental health crisis and was in a situation where she really could have come to harm. I attended and she didn’t want me to come near her. I talked and talked to her and eventually managed to get close enough to help and she went to hospital. About a month later I was walking down the street and she stopped me and said she was so grateful for me stepping in. She was doing well and looked so different, it was like chalk and cheese from the last time I saw her. Knowing that she was getting the right help and doing well was so nice to see because you don’t always get to see how things turn out.

Meet your local Met Police team: PC Tara Duffy

What would you say to anyone who’s thinking about joining the police?

The people here are probably the best bit. It’s such a diverse range of people with different skill sets who work really well together. Also, it’s not all enforcement - I don’t see the role as that, I see it as making people’s lives easier and better. If you’ve got patience and communication skills, you can get yourself a good role here that suits you.