Vanessa Carroll started her career with West Midlands Police in 1977 as a 16 year old cadet. She was kind and polite and quickly developed a passion for the job.
Her cross country running skills helped earn her the nickname of ‘thief taker’ as she out ran and arrested more than her fair share of criminals across Solihull.
She passed her sergeant’s exams in 1985 and later moved into CID, where she spent some time as a Detective Sergeant on various squads. In 1994 she was promoted to inspector and returned to Chelmsley Wood where she motivated her shift to become serious thief-takers.
She was strict and demanding but won the respect of her team and always got good results.
Looking for a challenge that might help her get the next promotion, in 1996 she decided to go out to Bosnia on secondment. Unfortunately she was never to see English soil again.
On 28 April 1996 she was run off the road in Bosnia and the crash claimed her life.
She was flown back to Birmingham in a military plane and her funeral was held at Olton Friary, which was packed with colleagues past and present.