On International Women’s Day, Hannah Wilkinson, who was recently appointed as the head of the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) for the eastern region, has blogged about her role.
She is the first ever police civilian to take on this role.
“I started my career in policing in 2000, working as an Intelligence Analyst for Hertfordshire Constabulary. I thought I’d do the role for a couple of years then get a business role in the city, but somehow 19 years have gone by and I’m still here!
I’ve spent a lot of my career working in serious and organised crime and covert policing, joining the ROCU in 2014, so I’m excited to have now been appointed as the head of the unit – a role that has previously only ever been carried out by officers.
ROCUs work closely alongside forces, as well as national agencies, which means the reach and impact our teams can have on serious and organised crime is huge.
I’m looking forward to using my experience and ideas to drive our ROCU forwards, so that we can better protect the public, and I’m lucky to have an excellent team full of professional people.
Not having policing powers does not impact on my ability to take on this role, and I think it’s really important that we look at modernising workforces and be creative about where we look for skilled people.
I’m honoured to be given the chance to undertake this role and really appreciate the positive support I’ve had from across the whole police community.
This week I attended the Senior Women in Policing conference, along with several colleagues from the forces in our region. My own experiences tell me that diversity is valued in the police across all categories. We need a mix of different people and different views to generate the best ideas.
While there are fewer women senior leaders in policing than men, we have taken great strides forwards and the heads of both the National Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police are women, and I believe women really are valued within policing.
So if you’re a woman and you’re thinking of applying for a job in policing, whether in a civilian capacity or as an officer, I’d say go for it. Be yourself, don’t feel you have to conform, be authentic be courageous, and you’ll go far.