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Impact and Insights Report 2020/21

Constructive disruption and innovation


Police Now uses a combination of innovative learning techniques and approaches to enable participants to develop and refine the skills needed to constructively disrupt existing cultures, protocols, and processes and achieve maximum impact in their communities.


Dedicated Leadership Development Officers are unique to Police Now and come from a variety of backgrounds including policing, teaching, coaching and professional development.

Leadership Development Officers are critical for developing the leadership potential of Police Now participants and coach them to develop evidence-based approaches to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in their communities, as well as building their confidence to innovate and influence change. They also play an important role in creating a holistic support system for all participants, ensuring high levels of career satisfaction and retention.

In 2019, 84% of participants agreed that their Leadership Development Officer supported their personal and professional development and 81% agreed that their Leadership Development Officer had challenged them to think differently1.

Police Constable Rose Osborne,
National Graduate Leadership Programme Participant, Avon & Somerset Police.


Police Now’s curriculum team is primarily composed of educationalists and policing professionals, ensuring that the learning techniques and approaches we embed into our training programmes reflect current best practice.

Since 2019, we have embedded the learning theories of deliberate practice, the novice to expert scale and the management of cognitive load as part of our academy education model.

Police Now is leading the way in deploying deliberate practice, which involves identifying the key skills that police officers are required to learn and then breaking these down into micro-skills which are purposefully practiced and built-upon. For example, learning how to arrest will include mastering the micro-skill of informing the suspect of arrest in a clear and confident way. Participants are then asked to repeatedly practice these micro- skills, receiving immediate and actionable feedback to help them improve. Although this can feel challenging, the process of repeating a micro-skill helps to build automaticity, reducing participants’ cognitive load by ensuring they have an automatic response in a particular situation. We are constantly aiming to improve our offering to participants; in 2020 there was a 13% increase in the perceived quality of the deliberate practice training when compared with 20192.

The continuous focus on improving our application of these learning techniques contributed to a highly successful academy in 2020, with participants’ self-reported knowledge and confidence in their role being higher than any previous cohort at the same time point3.

Early indications from the 2021 Police Now Academy also demonstrate that Police Now has managed to create a strong sense of participant preparedness and confidence with 86% of participants at the post-digital academy phase agreeing that they feel prepared to enter their force for the next phase of training (in-force field training and Officer Safety Training)4.
Participants’ self-assessed knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform the role effectively
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Strongly agree/agree

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Participants’ self-assessed confidence needed to perform the role effectively
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Police Now is continuing to innovate in the development of a hybrid (digital and face-to-face) recruitment and training model, using digital technology and digital delivery to recruit and onboard prospective candidates (e.g. through the use of virtual reality experiences and digital assessment centres) and support participants’ professional development.

We have successfully embedded a blend of face-to-face and digital delivery at our academies. Survey results from the Police Now Academy in 2021 show that 97% of participants agreed that the digital delivery phase improved their knowledge, skills, and abilities to do their job effectively. 92% of participants stated that they felt their learning progression during the digital phase of the academy had been excellent or good5.


Syndicate Leads are seconded Sergeants from partner forces who teach, coach and mentor our participants at the academy.
They help pass on operational policing skills (both national and force specific), helping participants prepare to land in force and make an impact in their communities.

Whilst the Syndicate Lead role is instrumental in the training and development of Police Now participants, it also provides an opportunity for Sergeants or Acting Sergeants to develop their own skills. 83% of Syndicate Leads in 2020 agreed that the academy had contributed to their professional development6, line management and effective coaching as skills which Police Now had helped them to develop.
Once they have returned to force, Syndicate Leads are able to utilise these skills to strengthen their leadership capabilities as well as demonstrate readiness for promotion.

During the 2020 Police Now Academy

0 %

of participants agreed that their Syndicate Lead had had a positive impact on their development7.

“My Syndicate Lead has been the single most impactful point of contact throughout this experience. They were integral to my learning, self-reflection, and overall wellbeing. I cannot thank them enough.”

Police Now Participant,

National Graduate Leadership Programme.

“I’ve developed my line management skills, including mediation and problem-solving skills. This has been one of the best things I’ve done in my career so far in terms of skills and resilience building as well as working alongside fantastic colleagues - both officers and Police Now staff.”

Police Now Syndicate Lead,

National Graduate Leadership Programme.


Rachel Capper,

Leadership Development Officer.

Police Constable Chloe Pennicott,

National Graduate Leadership Programme Participant, Thames Valley Police.

A conversation between Leadership Development Officer, Rachel Capper, and Police Now participant, Chloe Pennicott.

How has Rachel supported you in terms of your confidence and leadership development?

Chloe: “Rachel has been absolutely pivotal as a sounding board for welfare and work issues. It’s useful to have an external perspective to monitor your progress and Rachel notes the change she has seen in me, which I find very supportive for my personal growth. When I started my role as a neighbourhood officer, I struggled with self-esteem issues, but through my development work with Rachel we have both noted massive improvements in this area and I can now be more forward- thinking and focus on the operational side of the role.”

How do you work together to focus on creating innovative solutions to tackle challenges within the local community?

Rachel: “Before I can comfortably talk through operations and opportunities for innovation with any participant, they need to have a degree of comfort in their own competence and confidence in their abilities. The work Chloe and I did for the first year of our professional relationship was ensuring the building blocks were in place to allow Chloe to feel assured in her decisions. If someone is not comfortable making any decision, then they certainly won’t take one that hasn’t been done before. Consequently, the work that Chloe and I did focusing on her personal development allowed us to reach a point whereby we can now talk about operations with a level of detail we simply couldn’t go into before.
During every PDP, I discuss participants’ closed, on-going, and future operational plans with them. This allows me to understand how they intend to address any given problem and ask questions to stretch their thinking. Through encouraging participants to draw upon the existing evidence-base, analyse the clarity and conviction of their plan and trust their decisions, they can develop innovative solutions to address problems within the community.”

Chloe: “A specific example which highlights my ability to think innovatively about longstanding community issues is my work involving vulnerable, elderly individuals. I am managing a particular offender who causes significant distress to our elderly residents. Through my conversations with Rachel, and colleagues, I realised there was more we could do in relation to engaging and supporting these residents. In partnership with local businesses, I am in the process of planning a coffee meet, during which myself and colleagues will go door-to-door with coffee and refreshments to meet isolated members of our community and provide crime prevention advice.”

“It’s useful to have an external perspective to monitor your progress and Rachel notes the change she has seen in me, which I find very supportive for my personal growth.”


Sergeant Kayley Perkins,

Police Now Operational Lead and former Syndicate Lead, West Mercia Police.


Q: What value does Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme bring to West Mercia Police?

A: “The Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme is an entry route into policing that takes a different approach. It captures the motivation, innovation, and enthusiasm of student officers from a range of backgrounds and casts these qualities into Safer Neighbourhood Teams where there is scope for them to undertake long- term problem solving and potential to have a positive impact in communities.”
Q: How is the Police Now programme implemented in West Mercia Police?

A: “We have a dedicated multi-disciplinary team in force working to implement the Police Now programme, including myself (Police Now Operational Lead and former Syndicate Lead), a Project Manager and a Chief Inspector. West Mercia Police has worked in partnership with Police Now to provide opportunities and effectively support officers as they continue to learn and develop in their role. I believe that if officers feel valued and supported, they will maintain focus and motivation, be more resilient to personal challenges and are more likely to work to their highest potential.“
Q: How did being a Police Now Syndicate Lead shape your professional practice and leadership skills?

A: “My professional practice and leadership skills have changed and improved in three main ways as a result of being a Police Now Syndicate Lead. Firstly, the role has given me an insight into a variety of different functions within West Mercia Police and has led to an increased understanding of the importance of alignment in partnership working, in order to achieve common goals. This knowledge and understanding enables me to make more informed decisions and manage others’ expectations on a daily basis.

Secondly, the role helped me to realise the importance of communication and gave me an opportunity to enhance these skills. Effective communication is vital for coaching, mentoring and supporting others on a one-to-one basis, as well as for working with partners and the wider organisation to deliver innovation, raise awareness of Police Now and foster a supportive and inclusive culture in force.

Thirdly, my confidence in my leadership abilities has significantly increased and I am now more comfortable in giving constructive feedback and professionally challenging others.”


Support from Leadership Development Officers has been phenomenal.

What kind of leadership development are you getting?

The support i've had from Police Now and in force.

What kind of leadership development are you getting?


Police Now Impact Events are an innovative way of holding participants to account on behalf of the communities they serve, whilst creating opportunities for knowledge sharing between a national network of officers.

Police Now participants are assessed at regular intervals on the most impactful things they have done to help reduce crime or increase public confidence. Participants present work on a wide range of problem-solving initiatives, from dealing with anti- social behaviour and building multi-agency partnerships, to disrupting county lines and tackling serious youth violence.


Skills Sessions are another unique aspect of Police Now’s programmes.

Participants attend three Skills Sessions across the programme on topics such as coaching, valuing difference and inclusion and community engagement, each designed to develop their leadership and policing skills. Participants can also bring their line manager or a team member to some of these sessions, so that other officers can benefit from this training.


Participants have the opportunity to spend up to four weeks away from the frontline during the second year of the National Graduate Leadership Programme with one of Police Now’s partner organisations.

Police Now has established secondment partnerships with organisations across the private, security and government sector, including organisations such as Accenture, the Home Office and the Police Foundation. Alternatively, participants can choose to complete internal attachments within specialist units and departments in their force. This includes counter- terrorism, serious and organised crime, and sexual offences. The secondment process allows participants to develop new skills, exchange knowledge and bring new ideas back to their role, whilst also contributing to Police Now’s overarching objective of bringing policing and other parts of society closer together. A greater understanding and closer working relationship with other sectors – drawing on the skills, expertise, and resources of partners – is crucial to help policing prepare and adapt for the challenges of the future8.
Police Constable Rosanna Walker completed a secondment in the Ministerial Private Office of the Minister of Policing. Talking about this experience, Police Constable Walker said:

“What made me choose this secondment was the desire to gain a better understanding of how policy decisions that affect forces and police officers are made. I found the experience quite empowering as a female, as all of my colleagues were female too. Working with the Minister of Policing has also enabled me to develop my leadership style. The experience made me love my job even more and I continue to work as an officer within Essex Police.”


Inspector Tom Byrne,

National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumnus, West Midlands Police.

“I had always been attracted to a career in public service, but it was the opportunities and challenges posed by Police Now which encouraged me to join policing.”

“As a neighbourhood police officer on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, I worked to tackle deep-rooted issues on my ward in the West Midlands, including begging and street drinking. During my time on the programme, I capitalised on a range of development opportunities including courses, internal attachments and an external secondment at the Home Office.

Since graduating from the National Graduate Leadership Programme in 2018, I have moved into a Temporary Inspector’s role following completion of the College of Policing Fast Track Programme. During my time on Fast Track, my varied postings included response, custody and CID, as well as returning to neighbourhood policing as a supervisor.
Police Now provided me with an excellent foundation for the Fast Track Programme, not only in the form of developing partnership working, project management and communication skills but also personal resilience and commitment to making a real impact.

Throughout my career, I have sought out roles with a high level of responsibility and those which have allowed me to make a real difference to people’s lives. I now work as one of the duty Inspectors in the force control room; a varied role which involved qualifying as an Initial Tactical Firearms Commander. Alongside my colleagues, I deal with a range of incidents each day involving a high degree of threat and risk, including pursuits and firearms incidents. This provides an excellent opportunity to make a difference to the lives of members of the public across the West Midlands.”


Eleanor Covell,

National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumnus, Head of Strategy (Policing) at Crest Advisory.

“I joined the Metropolitan Police Service as part of the first ever Police Now cohort in 2015 and served as a Dedicated Ward Officer.”

“My time as a Dedicated Ward Officer, and the support and training provided by Police Now, enabled me to work closely with a community to understand local issues and implement solutions. It also afforded me opportunities to understand how policing operates beyond neighbourhood policing, and at a strategic level, with a secondment to the Home Office Strategy and Transformation Unit.

At the end of my two years on the Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme I realised that I wanted to harness the leadership and problem-solving skills that I had gained during this time to develop a career in a strategic role, which would allow me to continue to support policing in the UK to be the best it can be.
I am now employed as Head of Strategy and Performance at Crest Advisory (the UK’s only consultancy dedicated to crime and justice). In this role, I lead our work supporting the police to measure, forecast and plan for demand, drawing on my experiences as a frontline officer and using the tools I learned on the programme to present clients with innovative solutions and actionable insights.

Crest Advisory are now also an external secondment host organisation. As such, I have led partnership opportunities and hosted Police Now secondees, supporting the next generation of participants and contributing to our objective of bringing policing and society closer together.”


  1. Measured via an online survey of National Graduate Leadership Programme Participants (n=82) ‘To what extent do you agree that your LDO has supported your professional development’ and ‘To what extent do you agree that your LDO has challenged you to think differently’. ↩

  2. Measured via an online survey on the last day of the 2020 Police Now Academy (n=369) ‘Please rate the quality of the following aspects of the Summer Academy in enhancing your development and learning experience: Deliberate Practice’.  ↩

  3. Measured via an online survey on the last day of the 2020 Police Now Academy (n=369) ‘I have the knowledge, skills and abililities needed to perform the role effectively’ and ‘I have the confidence needed to perform the role effectively’.  ↩

  4. Measured via an online survey after the digital phase of the 2021 Police Now Academy (n=198) ‘Overall, the digital phase of the Detective Academy delivery has improved my level of knowledge, skills and abilities that I need to perform my job effectively’ and ‘Overall, the digital phase of the Detective Academy delivery has improved my level of confidence that I need to perform my job effectively’. ↩

  5. Measured via an online survey after the digital phase of the 2021 Police Now Academy (n=198) ‘Overall, how would you rate your progression in your learning during the digital phase of the Detective Academy delivery?' ↩

  6. Measured via an online survey at the 2020 Police Now Academy (n=36) ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree that this experience has developed your professional practice?’. ↩

  7. Measured via an online survey on the last day of the 2020 Police Now Academy (n=369) ‘To what extent do you agree that your Syndicate Lead had a positive impact on your development?’. ↩

  8. The College of Policing ‘Future Operating Environment 2040’. Available online here. ↩

Dorset Police

Police Now | Dorset Police
Scott Chilton - Dorset Police Chief Constable

Scott Chilton

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

Cohorts: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled: 6

National Detective Programme

Cohorts: —— —— —— —— 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled:

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