For over a decade Danni Brooke was one of the most effective female undercover cops in the UK, deployed up and down the country to catch criminals. Whether she was busting organised crime gangs, catching paedophiles or disrupting drug supply lines, Danni was prepared to infiltrate the most dangerous situations, putting her life on the line for the job she loved. And since she was one of the only women within this elite unit she became known as ‘The Girl for the Job’.
Today Danni is instantly recognisable from her TV work on Channel 4’s Hunted but now she’s ready for the first time to lift the lid on her secret life as a covert officer.
‘Going undercover isn’t for everyone,’ says Danni, 38. ‘My life was full of danger every day and I couldn’t tell my friends or family what I did for a living. My mum didn’t even know! There were definitely times I was in too deep but somehow I always got away with it. Now I’m prepared to share the secrets of my double life for the first time.’
The Girl for the Job is an exciting, intriguing and at times jaw-dropping memoir from one the UK’s most successful female undercover police officers.
Danni Brooke grew up in Dagenham, Essex, joining the Metropolitan Police straight out of school. During her first posting in Tower Hamlets she earned the nickname ‘Thief Taker’ for her steely ambition and high arrest rate. Her talent was quickly noted by the borough’s Guvnor and before long she was invited to take part in a ‘Test Purchasing’ course, which was the first time she realised there was a special unit dedicated to undercover policing.
Once again Danni shone and her commitment to playing the role of a street crackhead was noted by the course trainer’s when she refused to shower or brush her teeth for a week.
Out in the field Danni demonstrated her extraordinary covert skills by consistently getting results. Whatever the task - buying drugs, catching kerb crawlers, infiltrating organised crime gangs or gathering intelligence - Danni always brought back the goods. It meant that although she was officially employed by the MET she became an ‘asset’ for the entire UK, working all over the country.
Danni loved her work, revelling in playing the part of a dumb Essex girl while secretly gathering evidence for criminal prosecutions. Her commanders consistently praised her courage, skills and success rate.
But while Danni outperformed in her professional life, her personal life wasn’t quite so rosy.
At 21 she fell pregnant and hastily married her daughter’s father – it was a disastrous relationship which ended up in the courtroom with Danni fighting for custody. Years later she found herself pregnant again, this time with the son of another undercover cop. It was while she was pregnant the second time that she suffered a personal trauma which forced her to take time off and reassess her priorities. And after a successful decoy operation to catch a sexual predator she decided to take a career break. Little did she realise then that she would never return to policing. She had changed, and so, it seems, had her colleagues.
In 2014 she got a call that would set her on a whole new career path and today she has found happiness and stability with fellow Hunted investigator Ben Owen.
‘Every part of my life has been completely unexpected,’ says Danni. ‘I loved my job so much I never thought I’d leave but lots of things changed over time. I look back and I’m really proud of my time undercover but it’s great to finally be able to live life in the open.’
Katy Weitz believes that most people have an extraordinary story to tell and she specialises in bringing them to the public's attention. She started her career as a Feature Writer on the national newspapers 18 years ago and within a few short years, rose to become Features Editor. In 2005 she left to set up her own real-life story agency First Features Ltd and since then has sold stories to all parts of the national and international press as well as television. With a remarkable empathy for her clients, she quickly saw that some had stories which couldn’t be told completely in 1500 w...
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Today Danni Brooke enjoys the quiet life with her two children at her home in Spain, where she also runs a cybersecurity company with partner and fellow TV hunter Ben Owen. She likes experimenting with Italian recipes, baking and watching true crime documentaries on Netflix. It is a world away from the high-risk life she lived for ten years as a covert police officer. Then she spent her days on the streets and her nights in dingy clubs and crack dens, helping to gather evidence to put hundreds of dangerous criminals behind bars. Since leaving the force in 2013 she has built up a successful ...
More about Danni Brooke