Sally Benatar is a hero. Why is the Upminster girl a hero? Simple she has spent 31 years serving the public as a police officer.
Sally is currently a BCU Commander in south London but she is at heart an Upminster girl. She grew up in River Drive and attended the Coopers Company and Coborn school where she first met two police officers who inspired her to join the Met police.
Sally told the Havering Daily: “I attended a careers evening where two police officers had a stall there and spent time talking to me about life as a police officer. They really inspired me and that was an important moment for me as I knew then what job I wanted to do.”
She joined the Met in 1989 and has not looked back since.
“It has been a really fantastic career and being a police officer is a great job. Everyday is different and everyday we go out there to help the public. I feel it still today as I did when I first joined in 1989. “
Today the police face some very challenging times, tensions in the community, and consistent scrutinisation from the public alongside some very biased media. Yet despite this, officers are out their daily giving one hundred percent to their communities.
“At the moment it is a very turbulent time. I know speaking to officers on the frontline that they have faced unacceptable behaviour, yet they carry on doing their job. I have been watching body-worn videos and I look at how they deal with violent and irrational offenders. It isn’t straight forward and every situation is different.
“It is right that we are scrutinised and that we justify our arrests. People need to remember that we are members of the public too. That we are mums, dads, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters just that we wear a uniform.”
The hostility officers have faced on the streets of London of late has been unprecedented. Coming under attack regularly. Having bottles, bricks, pieces of wood thrown at them and even police dogs being attacked.
“Officers are very brave, they run into unknown dangers when others flee. They do a brilliant job”, Sally clearly states.
After 31 years in the job, the Upminster girl admits how the job has changed. “It has changed so much now. So many people are carrying knives and we like many others in the community are working hard in schools to work with the youth.
“It is correct that we are scrutinised. After the tragic death of George Floyd people are apprehensive and it is really important that people know we are here for them and that we support them. We don’t police on racial profiling and I do acknowledge that videos don’t always look good but they show a tiny portion of what actually went on.”
Sally has an amazing career record in the police. She was the first female protection officer to be based on the Prime Minister’s protection team and has been BCU Commander for the last three years. She is a real inspiration for women throughout the country and for anyone who aspires to be a police officer.
“It has been a real privilege to serve the community for 31 years and to help make our community a safer place.”