Sam De Reya: Temp Chief Superintendent covering the Devon Area Command -100 MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN 2018

Sam De Reya: Temp Chief Superintendent covering the Devon Area Command -100 MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN 2018

Biggest professional achievement

I count myself extremely lucky to be leading a large policing team and working with our partner agencies, as the current Commander for Devon; a vast area with complex needs and exciting challenges.

Aside from my busy day job, I’m most proud of the ‘South West Women in Leadership’ initiative I introduced in 2013. It brings together the 5 Regional Police Forces for leadership development and networking. We are now into our 5th year with events hosted by different forces (Wiltshire Police are hosting in 2018).

We provide development and peer support opportunities for women, featuring guest speakers, and workshops.  Over 550 women have benefited, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, host forces have provided visible support for women and cross mentoring.


Most profound/life-changing, business moment

My most recent job as the Exeter, East and Mid Devon Commander was one of the most interesting and challenging roles of my career.  Leading policing teams to provide the best possible service across response, investigation and neighbourhood policing, within a challenging climate of increased incidents, changing crime types, and a restricted resourcing across all agencies and partners.

I have taken so much from working with the partners as the Chair of the Exeter Community Partnership (CSP).  This crucial forum keeps the people safe through a focus on what is needed in the community, identifying the risks and issues which require a multi-agency approach and then agreeing prevention, problem solving and innovative actions and CSP spending.  The strength of the partnership is the strong relationships and willingness of people to work together for the good of the community.

The CSP work surrounding the street attached ‘homelessness’ in Exeter was a positive example of a joint community response. We brought key people together to look at how the city as a whole was dealing with this challenging issue. This work is very much ongoing.


Best life advice ever received

Always strive to do your best ‘to do what is right’.  Everyone makes mistakes; the most important thing is to learn from them.  If you keep making the same mistakes you’re probably not listening or reflecting on your practice and behaviour.

Advice for a young woman stepping into the world from School, College or University

Strive to do your best, you are good enough and capable of wonderful things.  No one is perfect you will make mistakes and that is OK; so does everyone else. Keep your sense of humour and ‘hold your nerve’ when things get tough.  Most importantly be kind to yourself!


Which book has had the greatest influence on your life

I read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ as a teenager.  I so remember wanting people to stand up for those who were vulnerable and in an impossible social situation.  To be brave enough to overcome prejudice and be on the right side of the law. This was an early indication that I would end up working in a job that satisfied a need for social justice.  I joined the police to keep people safe, be part of a team and do a job I could be proud of.


If you could make one change to the world

Nurture kindness and inclusion; a key to social change is to focus on our young people, proactively working to ensure everyone gets the best start in life, whatever culture or community they belong to.


Heartfelt Belief

Living your life and delivering your business with ethics and integrity as a cornerstone, is the foundation for building trusting and confident personal and professional relationships.


“It’s not about making people great, it’s about bringing out the greatness that is already there”



Video From The Celebration


100 Most Influential Women 2018

Grow Exeter Magazine launched the ‘100 Most Influential Women 2018’ in Exeter and the region in December 2017 and we received around 500 nominations for influential women from all walks of life; our panel was spoilt for choice and hard-pressed to select only 100 from the talented nominees that they viewed.  The Launch of the ‘100 Most Influential Women’ awards in 2018 has perhaps even more value than in any other year as it was just 100 years ago that the first woman was granted the right to vote in the UK.

Women have truly shown that they can shine in any environment, whether that be in the boardroom, teaching our children, climbing mountains, navigating uncharted waters, they can do anything that they set their mind to and we can’t wait to celebrate our own talented 100.

Honouring women in our March edition of Grow Exeter fell in line with International Women’s Day on the 8th March and the 100 finalists have each been featured in this special edition. To see the 100 finalists individually featured, please grab a copy of our March edition by ordering through the link below. We will be publishing each woman online throughout March and April so keep an eye on our Facebook page or website for their stories.

A huge congratulations to everyone nominated and to the #100WomenExeter, you are all amazing!


March Edition ‘Women in Business’



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