Designated Detention Officer, Petula Barker
Petula has been working as a Designated Detention Officer (DDO)
since October 2015 and is based in London.
“The role of a DDO is really varied. I assist the Custody
Sergeant with the booking in of detainees; when they come into
custody, I take their photograph, fingerprints and DNA. I also help
to arrange solicitors, appropriate adults, interpreters and doctors
if they are needed.
“I provide the detainees their meals and drinks and provide
guidance for detainees with alcohol or substance misuse issues. I
also act as a court usher for when our virtual court is in
“I wanted to become a DDO because I wanted to make a difference
and it sounds cliché but some days I truly believe I do. I knew
more women were needed in these roles and I thought my empathetic
attitude would make me suitable for the role.
“For many a first time custody stay can be very daunting. If I’m
able to offer reassurance and be that person who will take the time
to listen to their concerns and help in some way is the reason I
applied for the post and enjoy doing the job I do.
“In my spare time, I catch up with my friends for nights out, go
running and go to the theatre. I love spending time with my fancy
goldfishes (11 in total!) and spend hours on my days off watching
them swim happily around!
“I’ve also recently started to learn to play the harmonica.
Although not everyone listening to me practice is keen!
“To me, International Women’s Day is a day where woman are
recognised worldwide for their achievements and their fight for
equality proud that woman are getting closer to their goal.
“I’m lucky enough to be reaching my own goal, as I am due to
start as a PC any day now.”