A POLICE officer who was inspired to sign up after a horrific terrorist attack says he made the right decision, as figures reveal the job to be the one children aspire to the most.

Nick Eliot, from Braintree, is now a Detective Inspector with Essex Police, but despite his childhood ambition to join the force, found himself working as a sales engineer from the age of 16.

Mr Eliot, now 45, decided to make a radical career change in 2005.

The move was sparked after he witnessed the 7/7 London bombings in July 2005 while working.

Inspired by the heroism of police officers that day, Mr Eliot applied to join the force that evening and says he has gone on to have a much happier and fulfilling career.

He said: “I heard 40 or 50 police cars race past and when I saw what had happened on the news, I felt a feeling of helplessness and realised I was pursuing the wrong career.

“That evening when I got home, I filled out the application form for the police and have worked my way up through the ranks ever since."

It comes as figures reveal being a police officer topped a national poll of the jobs adults most wanted to do when they were children.

According to the poll - carried out by Opinion Matters for the Government’s ‘Be The Difference’ police recruitment campaign - found 18 per cent of working adults in the East of England said it was their ambition.

Now Mr Eliot is encouraging people to join up.

“I have worked on a number of high-profile cases over the years, and policed important events, from the G7 to Cop26," he said.

“However, one of my most memorable career moments was when I was part of a team that put a man in prison for domestic abuse. 

“After working on the case for six months or so, getting him charged and convicted was a huge win – and most importantly his partner was able to move on with her life.

“If you think you have the qualities needed to be in the police and are looking for a job with purpose, variety and a close-knit community, then I would really encourage you to sign up.”

To find out more, visit joiningthepolice.co.uk.