Moreton District Prevention Unit Officer in Charge Sergeant Sarah Grayson is the brains behind a series of powerful campaigns aimed at educating people about a range of topics – from motorcycle safety and the dangers of vaping to youth knife crime prevention.
She’s been policing for almost three decades, driven by a desire to make a difference in the community.
In 2022, Sgt Grayson’s launched two campaigns – the Moreton Vaping Project, produced in conjunction with the New Zealand Warriors NRL team during their stay in Australia and Motorcycles The Shiny Side Up, which shines a light on motorbike safety from a rider and motorist perspective.
Supported by the Queensland Police Highway Patrol and Forensic Crash Unit, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the Queensland Motorcycle Council, Motorcycle Life, The Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, accessories outlet Race and Road, and Smart Rider, The Shiny Side Up aims to stem the tide of injuries and fatalities associated with riding.
As part of the campaign, Senior-Constable John Kenworthy shared his story about his first and only motorcycle crash in 2020, which changed his life forever.
The Moreton Vaping Project busts myths about vaping, with a factual video talking about the realities of the chemicals contained in products and a second video where the Warriors share their motivations for staying healthy and steering away from vapes.
They followed Sgt Grayson bringing the successful I Live My Life Without a Knife campaign, which featured former American National Football League player Jesse “Tha Monstar” Williams, to the Moreton Bay Region in 2021.
She also worked with musician Josh Arnold from Small Town Culture and more than 250 students from seven Moreton Bay Region schools to write and record It’s the Right Way on the Road Today.
The end result was a catchy song about road safety captured in a professionally produced YouTube video.
“I absolutely loved doing the road safety one with the children last year,” Sgt Grayson says.
“It went viral in 24 hours - it was great to see so many people were watching it.
“Seeing the kids coming with their views about road safety – it was great for us to take on board their ideas.”
Sgt Grayson says the campaigns would not be possible without external funding.
“I’ve created most of them and applied for most of the grants,” she says
“I’m passionate about supporting the community, driven by living the life in Moreton Bay and always keen for it to be the best it can be.
“Prevention is better than cure and education is that prevention key.”
Sgt Grayson says while she leads the team on such projects, it’s the support she gets that brings them to life.
“I think it’s also really important to acknowledge that it is a team effort with our volunteers, staff at work and agencies.
“When it comes down to putting it out there in the community, it’s a team effort.
“I always like to thank my own family too, because they get dragged along to everything I do.”
About Sergeant Sarah Grayson
From working as a homicide detective and serving with the anti-terrorism unit for London’s Metropolitan Police to spending three years policing in Aurukun and time in Charleville, Sgt Sarah Grayson’s had a varied career spanning 29 years in two countries.
“I policed in England for 15 years, so I’m an old Pommy Bobby,” she laughs.
“I think it was wanting to help the community – I wanted to join from the age of 12.
“I’ve had a very, very varied career – I was a homicide detective in England.
“From homicide I went to the anti-terrorism unit with the Met, where I was part of the team investigating the (July, 2005) London bombings.”
Sgt Grayson also undertook specialised training to conduct interviews with people who had been traumatised, including victims and their families.
“I felt that was my calling at the time,” she says.
“In all of the things I have done, I seem to have developed a skill for interviewing those traumatised people.
“I looked upon that as helping them through that process, especially when they might have not had much experience dealing with the police before.
“It’s very daunting and can go on for quite some time.”
Moving to Australia 14 years ago, Sgt Grayson was stationed at Aurukun for three years after a short stint in Brisbane.
“The postings (in London and Outback Queensland) were polar opposites,” she says.
“It was a very different style of policing. It was very, very challenging policing, especially when you were own your own.
“It opened my eyes to a preventative style of policing – we weren’t going to be able to arrest our way out of things.”
The focus on preventative policing continued in Charleville before Sgt Grayson was promoted to Officer In Charge of the Moreton District Prevention Unit at Redcliffe about four-and-a-half years ago.
Sgt Grayson says adding a second chapter to Live Your Life Without a Knife is in the pipeline for 2023.
“We’re reinvigorating the knife project, working with families who have lost somebody, so that’s going to be very emotional.”
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