Insp Vanessa Rosemary Carroll

Vanessa joined West Midlands Police in September 1979, initially being posted to Chelmsley Wood Police Station where she walked the beat and learnt ‘the job’. From the start, she was keen and enthusiastic; she worked hard and had a strong sense of right and wrong that helped make her an outstanding officer. In addition to this, she was always immaculately turned out and every task she was asked to complete was done so at the highest standard. On one occasion, during the early years of her career, Vanessa was commended by a High Court judge for her bravery in chasing and detaining a convicted rapist and violent offender responsible for an offence of affray, whereby two police officers were seriously injured. In 1985, Vanessa was promoted to sergeant and transferred to Queens Road Police Station in Aston, Birmingham. She later became a detective sergeant and worked on a number of crime squads. In 1995, Vanessa was promoted to inspector and returned to Chelmsley Wood Police Station. Vanessa soon settled into her role of ‘Gaffer’ on her new shift. She was strict but fair and demanded a high workload from every member, Vanessa led from the front and ensured her team were highly motivated, they worked hard and played hard always getting good results. Vanessa was also an outstanding sportswoman and she was captain of the force’s netball team. As well as being a very fit cross country runner and a force basketball player. Vanessa was loyal and honest, she was kind and would do anything for anybody, but above all, she was a family person who loved spending time with her dear mum, Zena, her sister, Lynn, and her family. Inspector Carroll tragically died as a result of a road accident whilst serving with the Western European Union Police based in Mostar, Bosnia. She was serving as part of a multinational group who were tasked with reviewing proposed policing arrangements in support of the Civil Administration in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and unifying the local police, which had been split during the civil war. Inspector Carroll had completed 16 years exemplary service. She was a good friend to a lot of people, especially her teammates in sport and those she had worked with on various shifts and squads. She is still sadly missed by all, but she has left so many people with the most wonderful, fun memories. Debbie Menzel, a close friend, states “I consider it a great privilege to have known her, Vanessa was a talented lady and a wonderful friend. I think about her often and will never forget her, she was one in a million”.

© 2020 West Midlands Police Heritage Project

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