Natasha Sagar is an Acting-Special Sergeant for Derbyshire Constabulary. Natasha originally joined the Specials when she was a student at the University of Derby. Developing though her experience as a volunteer police officer, Natasha has gone on to secure paid employment with the Force and become a supervisor in the Special Constabulary.
Why did you become a Special Constable?
My fascination with the crime and the police was sparked by the 2012 London Riots. The disorder was all over the news and social media was a huge factor in the riots spreading in other parts of the UK. Nevertheless, the Police did a fantastic job to control the problem and restore the peace.
I decided that this was a subject that really interested me and that year enrolled in Applied Criminology and Sociology at the University of Derby. I studied many areas of British Policing but once it was finished, I wanted to know more and went on to complete an MSc in Criminal Investigation. I focussed my MSc in many areas but chose to write my dissertation on Social Media and Policing.
I enjoyed my studies but I knew I had to gain practical experience to see what it was like on the ground, on the front line with other Police Officers and the local force. While still an undergraduate
I saw an advertisement for a Derbyshire recruitment of Special Constables on Facebook. I applied for it and attended a further policing event at Derbyshire Police HQ. It was at that point that I could see myself in working for the Police. I decided to invest all my time doing what I can to find out more.
After graduating I successfully applied to join Derbyshire Constabulary as a Cyber Protect Officer with the Cyber Crime Unit and was made an Acting-Special Sergeant, supervising a group of Specials at my station. I now receive Employer Supported Policing leave from the Force and get a period of paid leave each month to conduct duties. I really appreciate the support I’m given to volunteer and the development opportunities that it provides. I think Derbyshire Constabulary is a great employer and I would recommend them to anyone.
What is it about policing you enjoy?
I enjoy the variety of the role; you never know what you’ll be dealing with until you’re on shift. Sometimes you could be working with the Dog Section, in Custody or working at football matches. My communication and team working skills have increased and knowledge of local and diverse cultures. All of this has helped me solve problems at work and in my personal life; For example, I will never forget the time I helped to save the life of a passenger who collapsed on a train travelling to Cornwall. What was intended to be a relaxing trip to the coast turned to one of emotion, energy and euphoria! The training and skills I developed as a Special helped me to keep the passenger alive until paramedics could attend. Not the first time a knowledge CPR has proven to be useful!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about joining the Police and Specials?
If you’re unsure about your career or fancy giving back to your community the Police is a great option to consider. Being a Special is a great platform to help you make your decision and get experience of the reality of policing. You learn skills and make new friends at the same time.
For me the experience of being a Special has helped me gain employment. At the interview for my current role as a Cyber Protect Officer, I could speak about my experience as a Special to evidence my abilities. It has also helped me to coach other recruits and individuals who are interested in cybercrime. I’ve also been heavily involved in the creation of Cyber Specials, a new unit that are being created in Derbyshire to help tackle the new and emerging online threats to the public.