Alumni Spotlight: Sergeant Tiffany Massey, Counter Terrorism Policing and the National Crime Agency
Tuesday 30th May 2023
Tiffany Massey joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 2017 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme. In her role as a Dedicated Ward Officer on the West End she handled a variety of incidents from pickpocketing to firearms, and improved safety and wellbeing at a large department store on her beat. She also completed an external secondment in the Strategy Directorate in the Home Office.
After completing Police Now’s two-year programme, she moved into the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command, where she led projects at key airports and stations across London and worked with the Marine Policing Unit to manage Counter Terrorism checks along the River Thames. Now on attachment at the National Crime Agency, she is one of the national leads in an operation to target serious criminals at UK ports. Alongside her role, she acts as a mentor with ‘The Girls’ Network’ and is a trained member of the national Disaster Victim Identification cadre.
Hear more about her policing journey below, in this month’s Alumni Spotlight.
“I joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 2017 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme. Before joining the service, I studied Criminology and Psychology at the Royal Holloway University of London and developed a keen interest in Counter Terrorism (CT). I worked at Manchester Airport as a security officer for a year, where I was stationed alongside some fantastic special branch police officers. I decided I wanted to contribute to the national CT efforts as a police officer on the frontline, too.
“I decided to join the force via Police Now’s programme, as I recognised that neighbourhood policing would give me a solid grounding in policing skills and allow me to work on a wide variety of projects. It was absolutely the best decision; I have no doubt that my time on the National Graduate Leadership Programme made me a better and more well-rounded police officer and person. I am comfortable with saying that I don’t think I would have the breadth or quality of experiences needed to apply for my current role in CT policing had it not been for Police Now and neighbourhood policing. The programme also facilitated an external secondment to the Strategy Directorate in the Home Office, where I broadened my experience and network and worked on strategic briefing documents for the then-incoming Home Secretary.
“Whilst on the programme, I was posted as a Dedicated Ward Officer for Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street which expanded to encompass the Cavendish Square and Oxford Market areas in 2019. Working in the West End, I was exposed to a variety of incidents from pickpocketing through to firearms incidents. I also worked hard to improve safety and staff wellbeing in a large department store following a number of tragic deaths by suicide at the location, which were incredibly traumatising for the staff who worked there. I realised that something as simple as heightening the escalator handrails by 20cm could drastically reduce the likelihood of further deaths, but it took a lot of hard work as a young officer, new to the service, to gain the necessary approvals from a large corporation. However, in the end, not only did the store install the new handrails, but extra CCTV was put in place and suicide prevention and awareness training was rolled out to their staff. In neighbourhood policing, a seemingly small act could have an enormous impact on people’s lives and wellbeing.
“After graduating from the programme, I embarked on a career in the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command (SO15). I led CT projects at London City Airport, London Heathrow, and King’s Cross St Pancras station. I also managed CT examinations and checks along the River Thames in joint deployments with the Marine Policing Unit. I enjoyed returning to work at airports within a CT role; the move from airport security officer to CT policing is what I joined the service to do, so I am really proud to have achieved this ambition.
“Last year, I was promoted to Police Sergeant and began an attachment to the International Crime Coordination Centre within the National Crime Agency. I am currently one of the national policing leads for an operation to increase interdiction opportunities at UK’s ports, targeting criminals wanted for the highest harm, most serious offences. This initiative has already led to a number of wanted individuals being arrested who otherwise might have avoided immediate detection.
“I would definitely encourage others to consider a career in policing, particularly if you are interested in the law sector but unsure of where you want to be. In policing, there are so many different teams and units and a lot more opportunities to progress or develop than people realise. For example, alongside my current role, I act as a mentor with The Girls’ Network – a charity, supported by The Met, which aims to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with a mentor and a network of professional female role models. This allows me to give back to my community in a different way to my day-to-day policing role. I’m also a member of the national Disaster Victim Identification cadre, which means that I am trained and on hand to offer support in case of a national disaster, ranging from major attacks to natural disasters.
“Being a police officer is a serious job. You will make quick-time decisions that will impact someone’s life, you will deal with confrontation, and you will often be dragged outside of your comfort zone. But you will also push yourself to be the best person you can be, you will save lives and you will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on society. I am excited to be taking my inspector’s exam this year and continuing to progress my policing career. I can’t wait to see where the future takes me.”