Fiona – Operational Support
How I got here
In my role, I oversee all the teams in the Operational Support function of the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU). This is my fourteenth year in the agency and my first in the UKFIU.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after leaving university and applied to lots of different organisations. I picked the NCA as I wanted to be in London and thought it sounded like something a bit different!
What’s kept me here is the varied and interesting nature of the work we do, the friendly and supportive teams I have worked on and the enjoyable work-life balance.
I’ve loved the different opportunities I’ve been able to take advantage of; working as an intelligence officer, on an international desk with opportunities for travel, in a victim identification unit, within operational teams, delivering training to national and international law enforcement agencies and the industry partnerships team.
In recent years, my focus has been much more on business strategy and the corporate side of the NCA. I now focus on delivering outcomes that have a long-term impact on how the agency fundamentally operates and tackles different crime threats.
When the opportunity came up to join the senior management team at the UKFIU, I was excited to take on a leadership role and get exposure to a whole new crime type again.
My role and how I protect the public
My Operational Support teams enable the UKFIU to deliver priority activities, covering a range of areas from business support to how we report performance as a unit, handle our risk management, developing policies and processes to help the UKFIU do what it does to the best of its capability.
We regularly engage with teams across the NCA, wider government, law enforcement agencies and the private sector. We are constantly thinking about what we need to do for the future to protect the public, staying abreast of legislative changes and developing those bigger picture, long-term solutions.
If my teams didn’t do what they do, the UKFIU could not effectively operate and the public would be less safe.
On a great day
For me, a great day is one where I get to engage with lots of passionate people to collaborate on work with real meaning – whether that be my own teams, wider UKFIU teams, the rest of the NCA or partners. That is always interesting. The human element of any job is important to me and this really is a supportive environment to work in.
Work that is focused on the future of the UKFIU is always exciting as my teams and I have the privilege of helping to shape how the UK will tackle crimes such as money laundering and terrorist finance for years to come.
On a typical day
I can’t say there is one typical day in this job. In any one day I may be doing a number of activities from working with the team to prepare a Director-General briefing, meeting with key stakeholders on how to future-proof the UKFIU, reviewing our risk register and making sure we have the right mitigations in place, arranging visits for our Home Office partners to collaborate on how Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) data can be exploited to support wider government activity or reviewing and updating our policies on things such as whistleblowing or how we train our people.
The only thing that is typical is there is always a lot going on and it requires me as a leader to keep a cool head – it is definitely never boring !