Islington police officer becomes successful businessman with own call handling start-up
- Credit: Archant
Aaron Henriques now owns a successful call answering and web call business. But it wasn’t always like that.
Aaron, 32, was born and grew up in Highbury. He lived on a council estate with four older siblings and at the age of 15 joined the 296 RAF squadron in Stoke Newington, a decision that changed his life for the better.
He describes his experience with the cadets as fantastic, providing him with many opportunities as well as excellent role models.
Joining the cadets allowed him to escape a cycle he felt afflicted many of his peers growing up.
“It really set me up for adult life, diverting me from criminal life and was possibly the catalyst for me joining the police,” he said,. “The squadron helped to show me that I could achieve anything and be anything that I wanted to be.”
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After leaving the cadets he decided to join the Metropolitan police in his early 20s.
He stayed with the force for 10 years but during that time he grew disheartened with what he felt the police had become due to the strain of funding cuts.
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“I was in a sergeant role and the demands I had to put on my team were beyond what I could tolerate going forward,” he said.
So he used his pension money in a rather unique way – he invested in a cleaning business.
Initally he found it very challenging to juggle his policing job with the cleaning business, so was relying a lot on calling services.
His experience with these services inspired him to develop his own business Handlr.
Since starting his business, life has understandably become more challenging.
“I now work far more than I have ever done; longer days and a lot more responsibility,” he said. “However, strangely all this ‘stress’ is satisfying in some way.
“I don’t think I’ve been happier than I am right now.”
Aaron was devastated when he heard about the potential closure of the Stoke Newington RAF cadets squadron, which has now been put on hold thanks to a huge backlash from the community in Stoke Newington.
“That squadron is one of the very few positive places remaining for youth in the area to attend,” he said.
“Luckily with all the local support they’ve now got a minimum of 12 months to stay open!”