Sergeant Vee Gosai on his determination and upbringing – “Success is not a solo sport. It’s the people you have around you”

Sergeant Vee Gosai was brought up on a council estate and suffered from a stammer most of his young life.

But he ended up working for the Territorial Support Group over the wall from his school and has now worked as an officer in the Metropolitan Police for more than 15 years.

He believes that his upbringing played a big role in his decision to join the force and said: “My father was very strict, and we had a very strict upbringing.

“Until I was 16, I was wrapped in cotton wool, but as I started working and going out in the real world, I started being exposed to very bad experiences.

“Between the ages of 16 and 18 I was victim to three knifepoint robberies, and I was getting sick of being presented with bad experiences.

“I thought the police would give me the sanctuary that I needed.

“It was quite scary because I was leaving everything behind and going out and doing it on my own, but I felt like I needed to shut a door on that life, and this would open up a whole new world for me.”

Sergeant Vee Gosai

When Vee joined the police, his family’s reactions were mixed: “I grew up living on a council estate in Union Grove in Stockwell,” he said.

“Living there, it’s an environment where the police are not really spoken about and there are lots of misconceptions about the police.

“People thought that the police were racist, and there was a lot of anger towards the police in that community.

“When I joined the force my mum and grandma saw it as a dangerous job.

“For the first few weeks when I had night shifts, my mum wouldn’t be able to sleep at night because she was so worried.

“My dad was so proud of me, whenever he went somewhere new, he would always tell everyone that his son was a police officer, and he would say it with so much pride.

“Unfortunately, he passed away last year, but he was always so proud, and now that I’ve been promoted to the rank of sergeant, I hope he’s watching down on us, because I know he would be the first person to tell everyone that his son was a sergeant.”

Vee stammer’s troubled him so much during his childhood that didn’t speak until he was 11.

He wanted to help other officers who also faced some of the same struggles, and in April launched The Met Police Stammering Support Network, which is open to all staff across the Met.

He said: “I’ve achieved things that I never thought were possible, and recently passed my promotion board to become a sergeant.

“I felt the need to reach out and offer support to others who stammer across the Met Police Service.

“Being in the police has given me confidence and 70 per cent cured my speech because I just immersed myself into police life.

“When I was younger, I was always seen as the boy who couldn’t speak.

Sergeant Vee Gosai

“I remember a McDonald’s opening in Clapham High Street when I was 11, and I couldn’t even ask for a McChicken sandwich, now I could order a million McChicken meals.

“Over the years, the amount of support and encouragement I’ve got from people in the police has been monumental. It’s like the police have re-raised me and turned me into another person.

“Even when I have personal situations to deal with, being in the police has given me the life skills to cope with anything.”
After Vee passed out from Hendon, his first posting was in Croydon with the response team.

“I remember when I first got posted to Croydon and I had to stand on a crime scene all day to preserve the area.

“I was standing there for my whole shift and when I finished a colleague brought me a cup of tea, I remember, it was the best cup of tea I’d ever had.”

In 2010, Vee joined the Territorial Support Group (TSG) in Clapham.

He added: “The TSG base was next door to my infant school in Larkhall Lane. There was just a wall separating the two of them when I was younger.

“I remember as a child growing up, walking past the base I would always be curious and look in thinking ‘what’s that?’

“When I joined the TSG, there were five bases I could have chosen.

Sergeant Vee Gosai

“At first, I thought I wanted to try somewhere new, but I knew Clapham was the one I really wanted.”

One of the standout days for Vee was while he was working in the TSG escorting the Olympic torch relay.

He said: “We were in one of the police vans escorting the torch relay. We were driving around and it was like every single person was out of their house and in the street cheering and smiling.

“It was a really nice day because everyone was united. This is what it’s about, everyone looked so happy, and it was really nice.

“Being part of that day during the Olympics was quite special.”

After working in the TSG, Vee worked in diplomatic protection for six years, and has recently been promoted to a custody sergeant.

He said: “When I got my promotion, to celebrate I took my mum for afternoon tea at the Savoy, because she used to work there in the dry-cleaning department.

“Before we went for the afternoon tea, we drove through the Springfield estate where I grew up and looked at the front door to reflect for just a moment on where it all started.”

Vee’s journey has not always been the easiest, but he said it is the people around him who have got him through.

He said: “One of the best parts of the job is when I get to work and get through the base door. No matter what is going on outside in my personal life, I feel like I’m in a safe space.

“The level of trust and care we have for each other is so special, and I can’t think of many other jobs that have that.

“Success is not a solo sport. It’s the people you have around you, and it’s what you become.

“If you have a feeling that you want something, just go for it.

“My dad has always been such a big support to me over my life and my career, and now he isn’t here, I have started to understand what it’s like not to have a support network around you.

“If you don’t have the right support then reach out for it.

“I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now if I hadn’t had the people around me on my journey.”





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