From mum of two to superintendent: Met’s only female security coordinator tells women to have confidence at Chigwell event

PUBLISHED: 17:08 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:08 08 March 2018

Raising awareness on International Womens Day at the Metropolitan Police East Area Command Chigwell Sports Club. Retired Borough Commander Ellie O'Connor speaking. Picture Ken Mears

Raising awareness on International Womens Day at the Metropolitan Police East Area Command Chigwell Sports Club. Retired Borough Commander Ellie O'Connor speaking. Picture Ken Mears


After having two children, Emma Richards thought she was destined for a part-time career, but with a little bit of self-belief, she became the only female security coordinator in the Met – overseeing Kate Middleton’s wedding, the 2012 Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee.

On International Women’s Day (Thursday, March 8), she gave a presentation at Chigwell Police Club, High Road, Chigwell, encouraging others to have confidence in their abilities.

“I have gone from a part-time police officer who had a baby and thought that my career had gone to a superintendent in charge of the TSG (Territorial Support Group) and dog section - it was a proud moment for me,” she told the room.

“As women, we all have those moments of self-doubt and a lot of it is confidence, women don’t think they can.

“For me, it was a fitness test – but just try and do it, nothing is worse than childbirth except maybe stepping on a plug.”

The superintendent , who has also worked in terrorist and firearm commands said there are women in the force who are not only breaking the glass ceiling but smashing through triple glazing as well.

She also spoke of juggling home life with work life - an experience many mums can relate to whether they are in the police or not.

“You can do anything but I will put a caveat on it,” she said

“You will feel guilty at home and you will feel guilty at work.

“It’s important not to lose sight of who you are - yes I have the epaulettes and I am proud of them - but underneath them, I am Emma, a mum of two.

The superintendant credits her police officer dad, who died when she was a child, with inspiring her to join the Met and said behind every good woman is a good man.

She also loved watching Cagney and Lacey growing up and was delighted to meet a star from the show when she was presented with an award for her work.

“Please believe in yourselves.

“I’m a 50-year-old woman now - if only I had this confidence at 30.”

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