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Profile: Being in the Ministry of Defence Police

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I joined the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) over eighteen years ago, after graduating with a BA degree from the University of Lancaster. Our Force is a national police force, some 3500 strong, serving MOD communities and policing sensitive defence installations throughout the United Kingdom. I am currently the highest serving female officer in the Force’s history. I joined the police because I wanted a career that was challenging and interesting, as well as serving a whole range of communities. The MDP provides excellent opportunities for its staff to experience much more than general uniformed duties. For example, officers can become detectives, dog handlers, community beat or crime reduction officers, as well as specialise in areas such as the Operational Support Unit, fraud investigation or the Intelligence Bureau.

I personally have remained in uniform throughout my career, which has seen me serve in twelve different roles as I have progressed through the rank structure. I have gained experience in working with Army, RAF and Royal Naval communities, as well as the US Air Force and Navy. Sometimes, these roles have been performed with a firearm, as our Force is, uniquely, required to be armed in certain places on the UK mainland.

In addition to a number of operational roles, I have been a law trainer, police advisor on an anti-terrorist training and advisory team, staff officer to the Chief Constable, and worked in Divisional Operations. At a more senior level I was an area commander, responsible for over 300 staff, for over two years. My current role is Head of the Complaints and Discipline Department, with the rank of Chief Superintendent. I make no bones about my aspiration to make further progress, right up to Chief Constable.

In my personal experience, the Force has always treated me with dignity and respect. I have always been encouraged to seek promotion, based on my skills and abilities. Equally, I have managed to find time for my own family (I have two boys aged 7 and 10). I have always enjoyed excellent training and support from the organisation, and roles are generally open to all officers who fulfil the job requirements. Personal and professional development is encouraged, evidenced by the Force’s support for my Master’s Degree in Police Management with Middlesex University, where I obtained a distinction.

I have personally found my career extremely satisfying and would recommend a police career to people who feel they want to make a difference, who enjoy a challenge and thinking on their feet, and care about people and their communities.

Contributed by Sharon A Taylor BA MA Chief Superintendent, Ministry of Defence Police

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