ITV’s Married to the Job focuses on Welwyn Hatfield police officer tonight

Chief inspector Jo Walker

Chief inspector Jo Walker - Credit: Archant

ITV documentary Married to the Job takes a closer look at how senior female members of Hertfordshire Constabulary spend their days fighting crime and still managing to balance their home life. Tonight’s (Thursday’s) episode focuses on a chief inspector based in Welwyn Garden City who spent three years protecting some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Shown from left to right: Julie Wheatley, Jo Walker, Kay Lancaster and Lynda Coates.

Shown from left to right: Julie Wheatley, Jo Walker, Kay Lancaster and Lynda Coates. - Credit: Archant

WHEN Jo Walker found out her husband had cancer she described the news as “terrible”.

Chief inspector Jo Walker

Chief inspector Jo Walker - Credit: Archant

But not only did she have to come to terms with that, she was also being followed by a television crew wanting to capture her every move.

The chief inspector for Welwyn Hatfield said: “It did get difficult. I don’t think I would do it again.”

Only months before the diagnosis, the mother-of-one had started filming for a Landmark Films documentary which wanted to explore the lives of senior women in the force.

Married to the Job aimed to capture how they dealt with serious crimes at work and still lead a normal home life.

Even though at times she wanted the crew to leave as her family dealt with the news, she hopes something good will come out of it.

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She said: “Graham is really well now, but we were positive from the start.

“We just wanted to show that you can be positive and things can turn around. And also raise awareness.”

In two episodes of the six-part ITV series, Jo will be seen in her previous role as detective inspector in the child protection unit, based at the Hertfordshire Constabulary Headquarters, in Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City.

Originally she was told by the film crew she might only be used for a sound bite, but they then decided to focus the series on four women from Hertfordshire.

“I had no idea what I was letting myself in for,” she added.

“For me personally I wanted to highlight the work of the child protection unit and the team.”

For three years she worked in the department and said viewers might be distressed by what will appear on the show, as her day-to-day job included child abuse and rape.

“They are unsung heroes,” she told the Welwyn Hatfield Times. “It can be difficult but you are there to do a job.

“You have to support the vulnerable and you can’t get any more vulnerable than a child.”

In one episode, the cameras follow the team as they deal with an attempted murder and she has warned “it is going to be difficult for people to watch”.

Jo promised that everything the audience sees was honest and nothing is staged. Even if the crew tried to make her repeat something she would refuse.

She hopes viewers will realise, after tuning in, the police are “real people” and are just “like everyone else”.

Married to the Job screens tonight (Thursday) at 8.30pm, on ITV.

The series has also featured Detective Inspector Kay Lancaster, Detective Chief Inspector Julie Wheatley and Detective Inspector Lynda Coates.