Detective with a desire to make a difference


PUBLISHED 19 Mar 2024

IN News

Driven by her desire to see a case through to the very end, Cambridgeshire Police Federation Rhiann Ward decided to join the Force’s Accelerated Detective Programme. Now, almost a year after qualifying as a detective and soon to be heading into the child abuse department, Rhiann has told how she has found a job she loves. 

Detective Constable Rhiann’s journey into policing began back in 2018 when she joined the Force as a Special Constable.
However, having been called to a traumatic incident during her first shift, she soon realised frontline policing was not the route she wanted to go in. 

“It was my first day as a Special and I was called to a job involving a man who had poured petrol over himself. I was 18 at the time – and despite attempting to put on a strong front – it definitely impacted me,” said Rhiann.

“It didn’t put me off policing but it made me re-think the route I wanted to take. I still wanted to join the Force as a regular, but not on the frontline. I struggled with not always knowing the outcome of a case, it just didn’t suit me. I like to know the outcome of the case I’m working on.”

Determined to get her foot in the door, Rhiann initially joined the Force’s Investigation Management Unit as police staff. 

“It was during this role that my sergeant encouraged me to join the Accelerated Detective Programme,” Rhiann continued, adding: “So I did, and I haven’t looked back since.”

The programme includes five months of classroom training, 19 weeks on shift, rotations through different departments, a detective exam and two separate portfolios.

“It was an intense course,” said Rhiann. “Especially when you’re juggling on-the-job training, exams and portfolio work. But it was completely worth it.

“I can’t help but feel so lucky that the programme exists – I’m now in a job that I love. I know the programme does carry some stigma with it, but I’d like to think I’ve shown people I know what I’m doing – most of the time. I’ve put a lot of work in to get to where I am today.” 

Since qualifying back in June 2022, Rhiann has worked in the serious crime team but will be moving into the child abuse department shortly.

She said: “I’ve recognised that I get the most satisfaction in my role when I’m supporting and helping children.

“I feel you can have a real impact and can make a huge difference to their lives when there are children involved. I know this is the route for me, and I’m looking forward to making my mark in the team.”