Communications Data Investigator

Job Family Intelligence
Job Sub Family Communications Data
Code INT-COMD-SD-Communications Data Investigator V1.0

Role Purpose

The Communications Data Investigator is responsible for the lawful acquisition of communications data, in accordance with the Investigatory Powers Act 2017, and for providing specialist advice to Life at Risk, proactive and reactive investigations, crimes in action and intelligence operations.

Key Accountabilities

  • Provide specialist advice pertaining to communications data in support of Life at Risk, proactive and reactive investigations and crimes in action, to ensure that investigations are conducted with due consideration of expertise and best practice in this area and achieve best outcomes.
  • Review and quality assure communications data applications and support and engage with applicants to ensure necessity, proportionality and collateral intrusion comply with relevant legislation and associated codes of practice.
  • Advise and give recommendations to Designated Senior Officer (DSO) before and during their considerations for authorising applications, to support the effective operation of the applications process.
  • Identify, acquire and interpret communications data from communication service providers (CSPs) to support investigations and crime prevention activity.
  • Evaluate acquired data to ensure compliance with the notice/authorisation issued.
  • Identify reportable and recordable errors and take appropriate action under codes of practice so that information is accurate and properly supports crime prevention activities.
  • Engage proactively with the SIO, investigator or analyst to support them in the development of the digital and communication strategy within the overall operational strategy.
  • Share knowledge, advice and guidance with the wider organisation, where relevant to improve understanding so that others can benefit, learn, and develop.
  • Engage and maintain relationships with CSPs to continue and develop professional working practices, and to allow more efficient and effective transfer of data between organisations.
  • Comply with all relevant legislation and the associated codes of practice to ensure all standards are met.


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior education and experience:

  • SPoC accreditation.
  • Up-to-date knowledge of Communications Data acquisition.
  • Awareness of relevant current legislation, national guidance (including guidance on disclosure), national policing prioritise, and new approaches to and how they apply to working practice evidence based policing
  • Working knowledge of emerging technologies and relevant updates from service providers.
  • Understanding of how to exploit new methodologies of gaining Communications Data within the parameters of the law.
  • Understanding of IPA/RIPA Codes of Practice on Acquisition of Communications Data. 



  • Able to set out logical arguments and provide advice clearly, adapting language, form and message to meet the needs of different people / audiences.
  • Skilled in the use of IT packages, systems and/or databases to fulfil role requirements.
  • Able to identify potential opportunities to enhance efficiency and/or effectiveness within own area of work.
  • Able to interpret and apply guidance to a specific activity.
  • Able to analyse and break down a complex problem into component parts and determine appropriate action.
  • Able to appropriately prioritise and plan own work.
  • Able to proactively develop effective working relationships with colleagues, partners and other stakeholders.



Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Stay up-to-date with the changing landscape of Communications Data acquisition.
  • Keep up-to-date with changing legislation and current national policing priorities.
  • Keep up to date with new approaches to evidence based policing.
  • Be aware of any changes to legislation that may affect Communications Data work.
  • Develop a working knowledge of emerging technologies and stay apprised of any updates from service providers.
  • Research new methodologies of gaining Communications Data within the parameters of the law.
  • Understand the concepts of Necessity, Proportionality and Collateral Intrusion
  • Understand and implement RIPA Codes of Practice on Acquisition of Communications Data
  • Engage with oversight body when reporting RIPA errors.

Professional Registration/Licenses

  • Home Office and College of Policing Register for SPoC Accreditation.

Links to other Profiles

  • Digital Media Investigator
  • Radio Frequency Surveyor
  • Communications Data Investigator Manager
  • Digital Media Investigation Co-ordinator
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