David - Operations
How I got here
I graduated a couple of years ago with an undergraduate degree in History and a Masters degree in Politics. When still at university, I attended a talk on cybercrime and one of the panellists worked at the National Crime Agency, which got me thinking about starting a career here.
I applied for a number of public safety roles but landed on the NCA due to my interest in a role in intelligence.
I started in the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) as a business support officer last year and have hit the ground running, soaking up as much information and experience as I can. I recently got my first promotion after just over a year in the agency.
My role and how I protect the public
My team, which is the International team, manage analysing Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) for potential information that could be useful to foreign law enforcement partners and we support Financial Intelligence Units across the globe in their UK enquiries.
We constantly access sensitive data, looking for potential links to wrongdoing so we can prevent or minimise occurrences of criminality.
Everything we do is in the interest of protecting the public, whether that’s recovering funds someone’s been defrauded out of or helping law enforcement with an investigation to protect a vulnerable individual who’s potentially involved with human trafficking.
Most criminal activities, particularly serious and organised crimes, require funding behind them, so the range of crime threats we are exposed to at the UKFIU is one of the most varied within the agency.
On a great day
My great days are those when I find my job especially rewarding. I find myself particularly motivated when working on cases that are time-sensitive.
For example, if a law enforcement agency come to us with a suspect already in custody, then there are set time constraints on how long they can hold them without issuing an arrest. So then we are up against the clock to do our job. When things start to move quickly and you are part of that process where there is a need for speed, it can be really exciting.
The days I find my job the most rewarding are those when I see cases that I am directly working on, on the front page of the newspaper the next day or the 10 o’clock news.
As part of the International team, we can receive requests concerning foreign sanctions or terrorist attacks and we have to judge how to prioritise and analyse the information we have access to. That’s what is really cool about it, what you’re working on is live and ongoing.
This certainly isn’t every day but those instances where we are working on cases that are high-profile and time-sensitive are great days for me.
On a typical day
My typical days all revolve around supporting different fights against organised crime. It’s not car chases and explosions but every day there are money laundering investigations going on, terrorist incidents being thwarted, organised drug trafficking gangs being uncovered, individuals defrauding the elderly being arrested and I help in these fights.
I now manage my own cases, I’ve redesigned a business process for the team – identifying where we could improve and implementing changes to help us to operate better and often get time to work on my own personal development.
The work is serious but there are opportunities to play too. I take part in Wednesday night football with the rest of the agency and you’ll find there’s always someone up for Friday after work get togethers!