Met Police creates head of data rights post to ‘ensure transparency and build trust’

The London police force is seeking to appoint a senior data expert to manage 30,000 requests for information each year and set out a strategy intended to support greater openness

London’s Metropolitan Police Service has created a new role as head of data rights, which comes with a remit to spearhead an “open data approach to ensure transparency and build trust”.

The position, which comes with an opening salary of £76,843, will be based in the service’s dedicated data office and sits at the head of a team of more than 100 data rights professionals. These employees “respond to about 30,000 unique requests per year from staff, Met partners, and the general public for access to data held by Met”, according to the job advert.

“You’ll be the ultimate escalation point for decisions made as to release data in line with the Freedom of Information Act and General Data Protection Regulation,” it added.

To inform how such decisions are made, the data rights chief will work with other digital and data senior managers to create and roll out a new Met Data and Analytics Strategy and Vision.

Alongside this vision should be “an ambitious and creative plan to realise this strategy against a complex operational, technical, and compliance landscape”, with implementation supported by efforts to “embed new ways of working… to create a single consistent approach to managing and complying with requests”.

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“Your role is to ensure our strategy is ethically and legally compliant,” the advert adds. “You will have access to senior police and corporate leaders and your role is to develop these relationships to ensure the Met’s future use of data whilst establishing assurance and governance standards Met-wide. This role is central to building and directing new relationships with our policing partners nationally. You will be key in delivering the organisation’s ambition for an open data approach to ensure transparency and build trust.”

The capital constabulary’s “open data aspirations” are intended to reflect greater “consideration of the rights and freedoms of individuals [which] is particularly important to build more trust by meeting public requests promptly and compliantly”.

The successful candidate will “have access to highly sensitive Met information and data… as such, we are looking for an experienced data rights professional who can take ownership of shaping and transforming how the Met delivers its statutory obligations”.

Applications for the role are open until 11:55pm on 21 February. The chosen applicant will be expected to spend at least two days a week in the office, with the Met preferring that the role is based at its New Scotland Yard headquarters in Westminster. The postholder may also choose offices in Hendon, Sidcup or Bow as their main location.

Sam Trendall

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