I currently process all of the Freedom of Information requests that are received by the force. This involves liaising with a wide range of departments to answer questions members of the public, MPs and the media have asked under the FOIA legislation.
I am also responsible for assessing applications from members of the public who would like to have their criminal records deleted from the Police National Computer. Finally I help my colleagues in the Data Protection Department handle the complex queries that come our way!
What’s the best bit about what you do?
Due to the wide variety of Freedom of Information requests we receive, I get to learn a lot about the work of other departments. No day is ever the same as I can go from one request that is about speeding statistics to another that is about a high profile investigation. It is this variety that makes the role really enjoyable.
What do you find challenging with your role?
Most people in the force think that Freedom of Information is optional and there is no legal basis behind it. They don’t tend to realise that we have a legal duty to respond within a set 20 working days.
Describe yourself in three words:
Ambitious, Funny and Positive!
What book is on your bedroom table?
I have just finished Avenger of Rome by Douglas Jackson.
What’s your favourite film?
It has to be Kingdom of Heaven. It’s probably the most underrated film ever!
What’s your best Police memory?
Last year I helped a mother get her son’s criminal record clear. The record was hindering her son from ever obtaining a job for which he had overcome quite a lot in his personal life to become qualified for. A lot of effort went into dealing with her application from a number of departments. I was happy that I could help her and the right result was definitely achieved.
If you could do any other role in the Police, what would it be?
I would love to become an investigator in the Anti Corruption Unit as the work they do is extremely important and would definitely be interesting. Failing that I think I would really enjoy being an officer working on the beat.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?
Check my emails and then work out my ‘To do List’ for the day.
If you could put right one myth about your role or the Police what would it be?
I touched upon this earlier but there seems to be a myth that Freedom of Information is optional and doesn’t need to be taken seriously. It does! It’s potentially a criminal offence if we don’t respond