It was 1970 when I found myself, aged 17, at St Hilda's. Being at Oxford and St Hilda's was a wonderful experience for me. I was aware that being at Oxford was very different from being anywhere else. As I had lived out of the UK for most of the time from the age of seven, I found being at an Oxford college very special and very British.
I was greatly struck by the tutorial system which I found a powerful way of learning. Jean Austin was my philosophy tutor and had a deep impact. I was privileged to meet so many really clever, well educated and cultured people. I was formed and improved by being at St Hilda's where I made lifelong friends.
When I graduated in 1973, I took up an unconventional career, joining the Metropolitan Police as a constable. There were few graduates in the police in those days and not many women. Up until that year, women had worked in separate women's departments dealing with children and prostitutes and such like. For the first time, women were doing the same work as men for the same pay. Being there at the start of integration of women into mainstream policing gave me good opportunities. I made good progress through the ranks, had two children at a time when there was no such thing as career breaks or part time, becoming the second woman ever to achieve the rank of chief constable in 1997.