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Lancashire Police Federation

Interview with Michele Kavanagh

26 March 2024

 

Experience ranging from being a counsellor to a Custody Sergeant has helped mould Michele Kavanagh for the role of full-time representative for South Division at Lancashire Police Federation.


Looking after those from Preston to Skelmersdale, Michele says it is vital the policing ship keeps on sailing.


Give me a breakdown of your policing career to date, Michele…
So I joined Lancashire in 1996 and I started at Preston before becoming a probationer. From there I went to what at the time was the force Major Crime Unit and became part of the Child Protection Team, so I did a lot in public protection. I did my CID exams and then went on to CID, and I did my Sergeant’s exam so I became a supervisor. I worked as a detective on public protection - Custody Sergeant also, Immediate Response Sergeant, and I’ve worked across the whole of the division. I have passed my inspector’s exams as well.

So what made you become a fed rep?


As a supervisor I’ve dealt with many people who’ve been through tricky times, not only welfare but personal challenges that have spontaneously happened throughout their policing careers. I felt that I’d been given skills and experience, but also people have said to me they wouldn’t have got through without that kind of support. I’m also a qualified counsellor and I think I have that natural empathy with people, but also the drive to seek the right solution for people and fight when they’re at their most vulnerable.
And what do you enjoy most about your role?


I enjoy being the voice for people who can’t find their voice at a difficult time and finding solutions. Sometimes it’s not always possible, I can’t always wave a magic wand for everybody, but if I can think of a way round a situation that somebody may not have thought about - or signpost them to another avenue that might help them recover or improve - then I see that as really important for me to do.
It's so key isn’t it, to be there when other people really need help…
Also to be that conduit between the officer and the organisation and senior managers and make sure those communication channels keep open [is important]. What we don’t want is for there to be any kind of blockers, because we all need to work together to make sure that the whole ship keeps sailing.