Police Constable Lou Roberts

Gran’s work ethic has run through my veins for as long as I can remember, and I’ve found inspiration from other women I’ve met through work too.

PC Lou Roberts accepting a Commissioner's Excellence Award.

PC Lou Roberts serves in the Metropolitan Police. She talks to us about how her beloved Grandma instilled a strong work ethic in her at an early age, and what motivates her to be the very best police officer she can be.

Who has inspired you in your career?

My Grandma Elaine arrived in Britain from Trinidad in the 50s. She was one of the bold generation who moved across the world in pursuit of a better life for their families. She became a bus conductor, which she loved, something I saw for myself when I spent a day on her bus with her. She was always smiling and immaculately presented, with a perfectly-pressed uniform, her hair pulled back in a bun and wearing her trademark crimson lippy.

But being a Black woman in Britain wasn’t easy for her. She was sometimes subjected to hateful racist abuse. I witnessed a man yank her hair, in front of all the other passengers. I was horrified. But Gran straightened her uniform, fixed her bun, smiled and rang the bell to tell the driver to move on. She had a job to do and no one was going to stop her doing it. I was in awe. That memory has spurred me on to always be proud of who I am and get the job done, no matter what life throws at me.

Does inspiration come from other places?

I’ve found inspiration from women I’ve met through work too. I visited a lady after she reported being abused by her partner. I remember it vividly – this petite woman opened the door. Beneath her tracksuit, she bore the most horrific injuries I’d ever seen: head-to-toe bruises – I couldn’t even tell the colour of her skin – I saw the cigarette burns and the prints of her abuser’s hands.

Shock must have been written across my face because she actually asked me if I was OK. Later she said my expression helped her decide to assist us in prosecuting her attacker. He was convicted and jailed, as a result.

We are surrounded by different people and challenges in life. They all give us a lesson on how we should be and what sort of person you should represent. The courage and needs of countless people like that woman have reinforced my passion for policing and kept me striving to be the best officer I can be.

Have you had any particular challenges? 

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 44 years old – 24 years into my policing career. But I didn’t let it stop me doing the job I loved. I was hobbling around on crutches so I couldn't work on the front line anymore. So I switched to an ‘office job’, training hundreds of other officers instead – and picked up a Commissioner’s Excellence Award for ‘commitment to professionalism whilst overcoming adversity’ while I was at it!

Would you recommend a career in the police to other women?

After I joined the Met in 1992, I fronted a recruitment campaign because I wanted to represent and inspire Black women. I’m proud to be Black, female and a police officer and I urge any women thinking about a career as a copper to stand alongside me; to make a difference, as I know I have.

Interested in applying to join the Metropolitan Police?

You can find out more information about the Metropolitan Police Service recruitment process and apply on the Metropolitan Police website

Want to hear from other serving officers?

Explore other officers’ stories on why they joined the force and what policing means to them. 

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