HEXHAM Neighbourhood Sergeant Kate Benson is proving it is possible to balance life as a single parent with tackling rural crime.

Sgt Benson, based at Hexham Police Station, began her career in the force over 13-years ago with West Yorkshire Police, but has since returned to her home force of Northumbria in 2017.

She dedicates her time to engaging with residents of Hexham and ensuring long-term solutions are applied to issues impacting the community.

Alongside her career as an officer, Sgt Benson is also a single mother to her young son.

She said: “I’m a completely different person than when I joined the police; I have different priorities and dependencies outside of work at the moment.

“I’m given the flexibility to be a mum and an officer and it is great. It gives me confidence and security and in turn I can do my very best when I’m at work.

“I’m dedicating my life to policing – I joined when I was 22 and I’m hoping to be an officer until I retire, and knowing the force understands that from time-to-time people’s lives change and their level of support varies really makes me feel comfortable in my role. It gives me confidence and security and in turn I can do my very best when I’m at work.”

Sgt Benson began her time at Northumbria Police in Gateshead before moving to Hexham. She impressed her senior officers so much with her skill set that she was promoted only eight weeks after joining Northumbria Police.

As part of the rural Neighbourhood Policing Team, Sgt. Benson is responsible for tackling organised crime targeting communities and more isolated areas, cross border criminals travelling from Scotland and other force areas to commit offences as well as driving down crimes impacting locals.

She added: “The needs of residents and businesses in rural areas can be completely different from more built-up urban areas and we need to make sure we’re adapting how we police to ensure their needs and concerns are understood.

“With that comes various challenges including learning and understanding different crime trends and learning the area’s vast geography and roads.

“A big part of us being able to tackle these challenges is knowledge and we get that in a variety of ways including partnership working, linking in with local landowners and one of our best resources is the communities themselves – understanding their needs and learning about issues directly from those it is impacting.

Sgt Benson is also encouraging more people to join the force, she said: “It can work for anyone, and the satisfaction you get from securing prosecutions and helping vulnerable people is like nothing else.”