real life

A police officer's powerful resignation letter has struck a chord with thousands.

Being a police officer was Laura Beal’s dream job. At just 19, she entered the force, treading in the footsteps left by her father.

But 13 years later, that dream has been shattered by a force that, she claims, runs more like a business; a career that has made her ill.

The British woman has shared a powerful resignation letter to social media, in which she takes aim at the total “lack of support” and consideration for the wellbeing of officers shown by the force and by the government.

“I have always worked to the best of my ability as I had pride in what I did. This however is not possible any more,” the former Devon and Cornwall Police officer wrote to her superior.

“As a result of the way I have been treated within this organisation I have to undergo Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as I now suffer with anxiety, depression and stress.”

Former constable Laura Beal. Image: Facebook.

But Beal's letter is not just about her own experience. It's an issue, she argued, that others are struggling with, silently.

"Your staff are not coping, and are suffering because there is no one looking out for them," she wrote.

"I was one of the lucky ones and have had the personal support at home to get out, however, there are so many that are unable to do so because they are either alone or financially dependent on the organisation."

That support Beal's received helped her see that there's more to life than policing, to help wrench her out of the depths of her darkness where at times she questioned "the point of it all".

"I am leaving before this job kills me both physically and mentally.

"I am not only sad because I see what is potentially an amazing career get ruined by hypocrisy and lack of funding; but also because I know I am not the only one going through this and not everyone that needs the help and support will be as lucky as I am to be able to leave."


Beal is now focusing on her new passion, and has just launched a pet grooming business.

"I would rather take the massive pay cut and quit than spend one day longer in a job that is making me ill," she wrote.

It's a sentiment that has struck a chord with Facebook users. Her post has been liked more than 1700 times and attracted more than 600 comments, many of which are from sympathetic former police officers and their loved ones.

One man wrote that he left as soon as he completed probation because he could see "things weren't right".

"It was my dream job before I joined, a nightmare while I was in and a huge relief when I left," he wrote. "Better things are out there and waiting for you!"

A woman who quit the force three years ago after 25 years of service wrote, "I see it like a piece of elastic, you stretch and recover, stretch and recover, until in the end you do not recover any more. Then, you dare not stretch too far in case you break. I am glad you have left before breaking."

Sadly, this is not just a British issue. Last month, a whistleblower from the Australian Federal Police told that two Victorian colleagues had taken their own lives and dozens more were at risk due to a lack of support services.

“It’s like looking at a whole lot of ticking time bombs and wondering which one will go off,” he said.

If you are in need of support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit the website at Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.