BROTHERS IN Blue is taking on a whole new meaning for the Herbert family, as identical twins Jack and Tom join the police nine weeks apart.
Embarking on careers they have planned on since childhood, the twins will be comparing stories from neighbouring forces as Jack joins Dyfed-Powys Police while Tom enrols at South Wales Police
And the 19-year-olds are following in the footsteps of their dad Jason, who is a Chief Inspector with South Wales Police.
It was CI Herbert’s tales about life on the frontline that inspired the brothers – although they admit they cannot be sure how much his anecdotes were embellished.
Jack said: “For years, Tom and I have always been close and we have both wanted to join the police for some time.
“Dad has always been vocal about how much he enjoyed his policing career. I’m not sure how much was story and how much was truth, but I’m sure I will find out!
“He has always has a group of close friends in the police, and we always watched documentaries on the TV when we were younger.
“I can see that policing has its good and bad points, but overall the camaraderie and sense of belonging was obviously strong. I can see that already in the short time I have been in.”
For Tom, seeing the enjoyment his dad showed from his job that inspired him to apply.
“I’ve wanted to join the police ever since I can remember,” he said.
“I can only ever remember dad being a police officer. He always came home happy from work, and it’s clear to see he has fun even though he works long hours.”
Although the twins have the long road of initial training to complete before they start patrolling the streets, both are looking forward to helping their communities.
But they do not underestimate the challenges that joining the police while in their teens will bring.
Jack said: “I’m looking forward to getting out and making my first arrest – I can’t wait to go out on shift and start policing.
“It’s going to be hard because I am the youngest in my class. I am sure I will fit in but having watched some of the documentaries, the public may not take too kindly to my age!”
For Tom, the pressure comes not only from being one of the youngest in his cohort of recruits, but the legacy of his dad’s position in the same force.
“I am young, and dad is a CI in my force – that brings some pressure!”
Although the pair are starting their careers with different forces, both hope to work together one day.
Tom said: “We both like the thought of working in firearms, among other things, so there is a chance that we may end up in the same car, or patrolling each other’s forces one day.
“That would be great.”
But for now, there is an opportunity to grow as individuals – albeit with a shared passion.
Jack added: “As twins we have always done everything together up to now, but this gives us an opportunity to be our own person but have the same interests and different friends.”
Wherever their careers take them, the brothers know they will always be able to turn to their dad – and each other – for support and advice.
Although CI Herbert, who has spent 16 years with South Wales Police, covering each borough command unit, admits he was surprised when his sons decided to join the policing family.
“I always thought they would go to university to study business first, but as they went through their A Levels they turned to wanting to be officers without degrees,” he said. “As it happens they will get both now.
“I was surprised, but hugely proud.
“I still love policing as much as the day I joined and can’t wait to share their stories when they go out on the front line.
“The differences between the two forces will be evident with them joining so close together.”
When asked what one piece of advice he would pass on to the twins, CI Herbert emphasised the strong team spirit within policing.
“Always look after your team mates,” he said. “When the chips are down, or times are tough, they are the ones who will help you out.”