A FORMER cabin crew member has swapped his globe trotting lifestyle for a career bringing Oxfordshire’s criminals to justice.

Michael Hopcroft, 27, is one of a new batch of student detectives training to go straight into Thames Valley Police’s criminal investigation department.

The trainee detective constable’s previous life could not have been much different. As a member of airline cabin crew, he spent four years looking after passengers on Transatlantic flights.

But when the pandemic struck he was made redundant and ended up working as a delivery driver.

Mr Hopcroft said: “Policing wasn’t something I was thinking of until the pandemic happened. Everything got grounded, so I had my feet on English soil for a change. It got me thinking about future opportunities.

“While I was driving, it gave me a lot of time to think. I ended up discovering about policing through the careers website and I applied for it.”

Michael Hopcroft Picture: TVP

Michael Hopcroft Picture: TVP

The graduate started training at Thames Valley Police’s college in Sulhamstead, near Reading, in July. He will do a stint in uniform, walking the beat in Cowley, before starting his training as a fast-tracked detective.

Those tempted to walk in his footsteps have until Wednesday to express their interest in the detective constable programme – a direct entry scheme open to those with degrees.

Det Insp Peter Scott, a former surveillance officer responsible for taking down organised crime gangs, is one of the officers now training a new generation of detectives.

He said: “I think this course that we’re recruiting to at the moment is absolutely all about diversity; different people coming in. It caters to a range of people who are interested in a police career as a detective – people of different ages and those looking to change career.”

Det Insp Pete Scott Picture: TVP

Det Insp Pete Scott Picture: TVP

The people they were looking for could currently be doing anything from social work to running a business.

He said: “We’re looking for people that have got that ability to listen, that ability to care, who have good personal resilience, that really do care about the task in hand. [Being a detective] is about bringing order and structure.”

To apply, visit tvpcareers.co.uk/roles. The force is also currently recruiting police constables.

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