National Police Air Service (NPAS)

Interview with Jo, Flight Duty Officer, on International Women's Day 2018

• What’s your name and what is your role within the National Police Air Service?
I’m Jo and I work at the National Police Air Service as a Flight Duty Officer in the Operations Centre. I manage a team of Flight Despatchers who deploy the helicopters nationally to requests from the 43 police forces in England and Wales.

• How long have you worked for the National Police Air Service?
I started with the National Police Air Service in 2015 after being a Police Despatch Supervisor with West Yorkshire Police for 10 years. All my career has been police orientated in varying departments.

• What made you want to work in police aviation?
I was ready for a new challenge in my career with the Police and the role of Flight Duty Officer came up with the National Police Air Service. This role almost combined my old role with the world of aviation, so it was the perfect challenge for me. Previously my only experience of aviation was talking to the local aircraft then known as X-Ray 99 when relaying information to them that they were assisting with, to ground crews as a Despatcher. It was great to combine the two and begin the steep learning curve into the world of aviation.

• How have you found being a woman, working in police aviation?
I knew I was entering a male dominated area and had a huge learning curve to contend with so there was a bit of anxiety to begin with. I have received nothing but support and encouragement from my male colleagues.

• Do you think women can be as successful as men in police aviation?
Absolutely, we have a wide range of roles that women work in across the board, including Despatching, Tactical Flight Officers, Pilots, Engineering and other specialist roles. I think that the National Police Air Service is very forwarded thinking in this area.

 What advice would you give to other women who want to work in police aviation?
Whatever role you want to be involved with – research it and be confident in your abilities!

For non-emergencies dial 101
In an emergency always dial 999