8 March 2023
In celebration of International Women’s Day, branch secretary and treasurer Kirsty Bunn reflects on her 22-year career in the Force.
Kirsty joined Derbyshire Police back in 2001. She was 23 at the time and, although she knew the job would be hard, she was determined to help people and make a difference.
Driven by her degree in medicinal chemistry, Kirsty initially wanted to work in forensics, although she soon discovered an excitement for working out in uniform on the frontline.
“Two years into my career, having spent my probation in Swadlincote, I was relocated to Derby North section and I loved it. I loved the buzz of the city. I loved being out on a Friday and Saturday night, just helping people. I know that sounds bizarre but I really did just love it. I loved being a beacon of help for the community,” says 45-year-old Kirsty.
As her career progressed, Kirsty went on to spend time on various safer neighbourhood teams in the Force, before once again heading back to Derby City, up until 2018, which is when she was successfully elected to become the full-time Federation branch secretary.
“Being a full-time Fed rep is a hard but rewarding job,” Kirsty continued, “I joined the Force to help others and being a Fed rep simply allows me to help a different group of people. As a Fed rep, you’re helping your own, and I feel very privileged to be in that position.
“In fact, my daughter - who’s almost 11, was around six when I became branch secretary says that I’ve gone from a police officer to a police helper, which I love. She’s right - I’m here to offer support, guidance and advice to our members, and I take my job very seriously.”
Kirsty also represents the branch at the Women’s Network monthly meetings and says she is ‘determined to keep campaigning’ until female officers are equally represented within the Force.
“I’m really proud of the work the Women’s Network has done and continues to do. They give female Fed reps and Federation members a voice,” said Kirsty, who explained that the average number of female Federation representatives, nationally, is 25 per cent.
“At Derbyshire, seven out of 21 branch council Fed reps are women, which is 33 per cent. And, although this is above the national average, it sometimes feels like a daily fight to get better representation for women. Within Derbyshire Force, only 39 per cent of officers are female.
“When I first joined, the number of women was far lower than this but until those numbers rise to 50 per cent, we have to keep going.
“Of course, with so many younger officers joining the Force, the overall attitude is noticeably changing. After all, equality is embedded in them from an early age, which means that they believe in treating everyone fairly - and I really admire that about student officers.”
Kirsty said that having recently celebrated her work anniversary, she found herself reflecting a lot on her career.
She said: “I have enjoyed every role that I’ve done so far in my career, but I think I’m best suited to the Federation job I do now. I get up every day wanting to do my very best for others and I’m extremely proud of that.”