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New beat . . . Oamaru's newest police constable, Steph Coubrough, is loving her first few weeks on the job. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Steph Coubrough has already had a varied career added another string to her bow. She speaks to Kayla Hodge about returning to Oamaru as a new constable for the police.

Q Tell me a bit about yourself, Steph.

I grew up in Central Otago and moved over to Oamaru to start high school at Waitaki Girls’ High School. I’ve shifted around a bit the past few years, including heading overseas. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do so, but now I’m looking forward to staying put for a while.

Q What did you do for work before becoming a police officer?

I mostly worked in tourism roles, before heading to the United Kingdom in 2017. I worked in a tavern in Scotland, and absolutely loved it. I also tried to see as much of Europe as I could while I was over there. Two years later, I returned to New Zealand and got into dairy farming.

Q And you previously worked for Tourism Waitaki, at the former iSite in Oamaru. What was that like?

Yes, I was there for almost three years and it was a great experience. Working at the iSite was one of those jobs that just made you quite happy. Everyone coming in was on holiday and would tell you all about their trips around New Zealand – I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Q Tourism and police are two very different sectors. What spurred the change?

Since high school I’ve been interested in joining the police. However, I knew I needed a bit more life experience. I waited a few years, and applied after I got back from overseas as I was ready to make a career change then.

Q Why the police?

Many reasons, but I wanted a role where I could help others. Police seemed like a unique way to do this. It appealed that the job is so diverse, and there are many different career opportunities within the police too.

Q When did you complete your training, and what did you enjoy the most about it?

I finished training on August 26. It’s hard to narrow it down – I really enjoyed the practical side of it. Driving and firearms training were probably my favourite.

Q How long have you been with the Oamaru police for? Any highlights so far?

I actually only started last week, but from what I have seen each day can be quite different. Oamaru seems like a great place to start out. Everyone has plenty of knowledge and experience to pass on, so that is really helpful.

Q What do you think the most important role police play in smaller communities is?

Working with the community and also educating people.

Q What do you like about the Waitaki district?

I still have family and friends here, so it’s a nice place to come back to. It’s a stunning area with so much to offer, especially if you like the outdoors.

Q What do you like to do in your spare time?

Anything outdoors, really. I spend quite a bit of time in Canterbury, as my partner lives up there. We try to get out on hiking trails or take the caravan out when we can. Otherwise, I enjoy playing hockey, so I would like to get back into that next season.