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Inspector Lynda Lang BTP's Longest Serving Female Officer
Meet Lynda Lang (pictured) a proud Scot and British Transport Police longest serving female officer.
Inspector Lynda Lang is the longest serving female police officer at British Transport Police, having served with the force for 30 years and 5 months.
On International Women’s Day 2018, Inspector Lang, who is based in in Glasgow, reflects on her 30+ year career and the challenges she has faced during her years serving in the police.
“Monday 5 October 1987 is where it all began.
“After a chance encounter with an old school friend who was training to be a sergeant, I joined BTP.
“Thirty years later, the police service I joined is completely unrecognisable to the archaic and outdated policies of the late 80s.
“I’ll be honest – it hasn’t been plain sailing.
“Disappointingly, I’ve been the victim of sexist behaviour of male officers and the public.
“I can say at times I considered my position and whether it was worthwhile to remain a police officer, but it definitely was.
“I was adamant a few men wouldn’t scar my experience, confidence or ambition.
“I stayed in the police service, fighting this misogyny and challenging ignorance.
“Policing has improved massively over the years.
“The police service has modernised, moving away from the handbag and small truncheons women were given in the 80s.
“You had a tights allowance and only allowed to wear trousers during adverse weather conditions.
“You couldn’t imagine this type of policy in a 21st century police force.
“Those days are far behind us as a result of strong women, challenging outdated perceptions and breaking through that glass ceiling.
“But, of course more can be done to make policing equal.
“I think issues specifically faced by women need to be addressed and taken into consideration.
“Periods and menopause are not items normally seen on any agenda but can cause women significant problems.
“I am heartened that BTP recognises these issues and is looking at a menopause policy, removing the taboo of these issues.
“Despite the challenges, I’d go back and do it all again.
“In this job you see the best and worst in people, you have the chance to save lives and help the most vulnerable in our society.
“Certainly, the unsociable hours are tough but the police service recognises the strain this can have on family life.
“Flexible working and part-time hours make working life much easier.
“This is a major step forward for policing and something which was not in place when I had my daughter 18 years ago.
“So, what is next after 30 years of walking the beat?
“Putting my feet up…no such luck!
“I love being busy and my life won’t be grinding to a halt after leaving the police.
“I have a passion for horses and I’m working to set up my own livery yard with my daughter.
“I am excited for life after police, but I shall miss the excitement of it and my colleagues.
“To anyone thinking of joining the police, I’d tell them that it is an exciting and extremely rewarding career.
“But it is tough, and there will be days when you face unprecedented challenges.
“As a young constable I attended the Newton train crash in Glasgow, an overwhelmingly tragic incident which I still recall today.
“Every incident I attended over the years, every obstacle I’ve overcome in my 30-year career has made me who I am today.
“It has been an absolute honour.”
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