Chief Inspector Anne-Marie Salwey

My name is Anne-Marie Salwey and I have been with Cleveland Police for 15 years after a four year stint as a college lecturer. I am currently the head of Protecting Vulnerable People and I’m an SIO for the force.

I started my police life as a police constable in Hartlepool, where I served in a variety of posts such as response, street crime unit and neighbourhood policing. On promotion to Sergeant in 2003 I moved to Stockton response for a year which was very challenging before moving to Hartlepool custody. I worked as a custody sergeant for two and a half years and covered all of Cleveland’s cell facilities.

I then moved on to work as the Deputy Chief Constable’s Staff Officer where I had opportunity to work with a number of diverse groups such as the North East Strategic Migration Partnership, BPA, Stonewall, Force IAG and Police Cadets and I was the diversity advisor for the executive team.

I returned to Hartlepool in 2009 as Temporary Inspector on response and a year later I was promoted and remained here until the start of 2011 when I undertook attachments to Hartlepool CID, the Vulnerability Unit and Public Protection Unit. It was during this period I was deployed as the PSU Serial Inspector to the London riots where I remained with my team of 26 males and one female for nine days. The PSU role is one I have loved but I know it is still heavily under-represented by women and most certainly by LGB and T officers. 

Following a round of attachments I was posted to Stockton volume crime where I remained for two years before I was promoted to Detective Chief Inspector and took the role of the force SIO and led on a number of challenging murder investigations. In October 2014 I moved to a role in Protecting Vulnerable People.

I am very open about my sexuality in the workplace and have been in a civil partnership with another officer in Cleveland Police since 2008. I have a very supportive set of family and friends around me and have the joy of living with the ‘in laws’ and our two dogs.

However, I began my career with some trepidation about coming out to everyone, even though I had lived my life in my previous job as an out lesbian. I remember feeling very unsure about how people would react and how I would get treated. I am sure other LGB and T colleagues faced or are still facing similar fears. I wasn’t quite sure how to address it or to tell people but felt quite uneasy about hiding part of my life as it wasn’t something I was used to.

When I felt more confident around the people I worked with it became an easier choice to make. I am fortunate in that I feel able to be myself at work and have never overtly been subject to any discrimination, bullying or adverse comments.

However, I know there are others who do not have the same confidence or indeed, the same experiences and that is why I am passionate about creating an environment so that those who want to live an open life can do so without any fear. This will require a shift in culture and understanding about LGB and T issues throughout the force and I believe the LGB and T network can really influence this shift.

I hope my experience in policing, as well as my experience as an openly gay woman in policing, equips me to be able to offer support and advice to anyone who may require it, or at least to know someone who may be in a better position to help.