May 12, 2017, by Carla Froggatt
How I Went from Biochemistry to Detective Inspector
By Mike Allen, Senior Investigating Officer at Nottinghamshire Police
I graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2000 with a B.Sc (Hons) 2:1 in Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry and began my training with Nottinghamshire Police the following month. I spent the first five years of my service as a Response Officer, dealing predominantly with emergency incidents, before joining the CID where I progressed through the ranks to my current position as a Detective Inspector.
As one of the force’s on-call Senior Investigating Officers I have had responsibility for the overt and covert investigation of serious crimes ranging from child abuse, sexual offences, drugs trafficking, firearms offences, serious violence and homicide, to name but a few areas.
I am often asked why with a degree in Biochemistry, I became a police officer.
Without doubt studying at the University of Nottingham was one of the best experiences of my life, but I didn’t see a life for myself solely in science. I was looking for a career that was exhilarating, variable on an almost daily basis, challenging and rewarding. Policing is certainly all of that and there’s never a dull day.
If I reflect on whom I was at the age of 18, in all probability I wasn’t mature enough to begin a career in policing. Firstly, those three years of independent living at university provided me with fundamental life skills necessary for policing. Secondly, while it’s fair to say I don’t use the theory of my degree on a daily basis, importantly the research, analytical and reporting competences I developed at university I continuously apply within criminal inquiries and the compilation of prosecution case files.
With my home county being Lancashire, I decided not to return, as Nottinghamshire’s diverse communities provided for a far greater and wider policing experience. With policing being a unique profession, a real strong bond exists between colleagues in Nottinghamshire Police, both professionally and socially. Indeed, to this day, at times, it still feels like an extension of university life.
For more information about jobs, work experience and volunteering with Nottinghamshire Police, take a look at the careers section on their website.