Mel | Counter Terrorism Policing

If you see something that doesn’t feel right report it at In an emergency call 999.


Strategic Development Officer

Mel is Counter Terrorism Policing North West Strategic Development Officer. She has worked in policing at Lancashire Constabulary for 24 years, the last five years in Counter Terrorism Policing and still loves the challenges it brings.


“I started working for Lancashire Constabulary in 1999 as a Divisional Property Officer, managing all the seized evidence and found property handed in by members of the public.

“2002 saw me start a family and take a career break until 2005. Upon return I became a Witness Care Officer in CPS, managing all the cases for Magistrates Court initially and ultimately Crown Court, before moving back to my original job in 2006.

“In 2018, I applied for the role of Community Engagement Officer within Prevent at Counter Terrorism Policing North West and in 2021 I got the opportunity to move into the role of Strategic Development Officer working on valuing, difference, equality and inclusion as well recruitment and retention, and leadership. I feel like I have truly found my niche!

“The best bits of the job are getting to work with the senior leaders and being treated like an equal. Being valued for my experience, enthusiasm and contacts.

“The opportunity to work across five forces, meet lots of new people and get involved in work on a national level. Every day is different and this is quite refreshing.

“Working across the CT network with many different IT systems is a challenge. The fact the CT isn’t its own entity/police force makes many things a challenge.

“I have seen many changes over the years. I remember WPC’s and female officers having to wear skirts and carry handbags with small truncheons in them. Pocket note books, then the introduction of Samsung devices to do your work on.

“I have witnessed the ‘Them and Us’ culture dissolve, there are still some relics of this behaviour, but it is now challenged…and openly! We are now Police Staff not civvies, or support staff, which I do think helps with the historical culture issues.

“The ‘Life on Mars’ days are definitely a thing of the past. I now see women in an abundance of senior roles both police officer and police staff and you’re not frowned upon if you want to job share, be part-time in a position of rank, have to leave early for childcare, or family issues.

“We are even understood and supported if we are having a bad day due to the menopause. I remember more mature female colleagues considered grumpy, ditsy, forgetful without consideration for why this possibly was, when I first joined the police.

“I still think women have to work harder to prove themselves, but maybe this is personal perception, or imposter syndrome felt by females.

“Getting a commendation from my Superintendent for work achieved in Prevent was my proudest moment. I hadn’t been in the department long and it’s the one and only time in my 24 years police career that I have been formally recognised and nominated for an award for my outstanding contribution.

“I have been thanked many times for my hard work by supervisors, but to be formally recognised was a real honour and a shock if I’m honest.

“Would I recommend joining Counter Terrorism? In the words of NIKE… Just Do It! You’ll have more transferrable skills than you realise, it’s not a closed shop, with only jobs for the boys and you get loads of training and support.

“Plus you become part of a national team that really impacts on the security of the nation and definitely makes a difference, which is why many people join the police in the first place; to keep people safe and make a difference.

“On International Women’s Day I think about Inspirational Women – like Florence Nightingale, Emmeline Pankhurst, Marie Curie and the power and capability of a determined woman. We are a formidable force and it inspires me to believe in myself.”