Impact and Insights Report 2020/21

Constructive disruption and innovation

Rose Osborne | Police Now Graduates

“Being a Police Now officer gives you a real strong sense of questioning things, never accepting things the way they are, fighting for change and making things different.”

Police Constable Rose Osborne,

National Graduate Leadership Programme Participant, Avon & Somerset Police.


Police Now’s programmes are designed to support participants to lead with the mindset of constructive disruption.

We work with our partner forces to encourage participants to think differently, adapt and create new ideas that lead to innovation within policing, improving the outcomes for the communities we serve. We embrace change that is meaningful and consistent with our mission and the core principles of policing. Adapting and changing in a meaningful way is vitally important at a time when society and crime are changing at a rapid pace, increasing both the volume and complexity of issues facing police forces. The College of Policing recently published the Future Operating Environment 2040 report, which highlighted the key trends shaping policing’s operational environment up to 2040, including: rising inequality and social fragmentation; a changing trust landscape; a larger, older, more diverse population; and technological change1. Preparing for and meeting these complex challenges will require a more diverse workforce that is able to adapt, innovate and challenge traditional ways of working.


A diverse workforce that incorporates differences in experience, perspectives and background has been shown to help foster innovation and drive high performance.

For example, Forbes’ best workplaces for diversity were shown to enjoy 24% higher revenue growth2. In the context of policing, a diverse workforce can strengthen policing’s ability to innovate, address community issues and improve perceptions of police legitimacy. In Syed’s diagram below, each circle represents a smart person with knowledge. When in a homogeneous team, individuals think in the same way, share the same perspectives, and draw on the same knowledge.

Diverse teams, on the other hand, have coverage of knowledge, skills, experience, and background. Each individual has the same amount of knowledge as the homogeneous group, but they use it differently. They bring insights from different perspectives which challenge, augment and diverge together to create collective intelligence3.

Syed, M (2019). Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking.
Police Now Application Process


Police Constable Gina Volp,

National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumnus, Cheshire Police.
Winner of the Tilley Award: Investigations Category 2020.

The problem:

Through a series of multi-agency meetings, it became apparent that there were several youths who were repeatedly coming to the attention of a number of social services due to their involvement in anti-social behaviour and violence. After some intelligence gathering and information sharing with partner agencies, it became clear that a far more serious problem was occurring that was previously unknown to the police and our partners. Intelligence suggested that these youths were victims of a criminal operation in which vulnerable young females were taken to hotels by a female suspect, given drugs and alcohol, and then taken to another force area where they were sexually exploited by adult men.

The approach:

To understand the extent of the problem, myself and my team analysed the factors that made these children vulnerable and focused on targeting hotels, identified by intelligence, to establish what was enabling this Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) to take place. A multi-faceted response was implemented to safeguard the vulnerable victims using education, Child Abduction Warning Notices, and partner agency inputs. We targeted hotels using “S116 NOTICES”, which can be served when the police reasonably believe that a hotel has been, or will be, used for the purpose of CSE. The notice allows police officers to quickly obtain information relating to hotel guests, within a certain time period, and proved invaluable in enabling us to respond to information quickly and effectively.
Alongside this, we distributed educational leaflets which put an obligation on hotel staff to contact the police if they suspected any CSE taking place and issued ‘warning notices’ to other hotels in the area in order to prevent the suspect moving to another hotel.

Finally, we also liaised with officers from our neighbouring forces to ensure they were equipped with the appropriate information and intelligence, should they encounter any suspects involved in the CSE.

The impact:

Following a complaint made from a hotel, the suspect was arrested for sexual offences and bailed with conditions that prohibited her from contacting anyone under the age of 16. Whilst initially there were vulnerable females subject to CSE, the operation has resulted in 11 of them no longer associating with the suspect. The number of times the vulnerable females have gone missing from home has also reduced by 64%.

A significant number have expressed to their guardians that they are no longer friends with the suspect and now understand why their relationship with her was inappropriate. Partner agencies have also reported that family relationships have improved, and schools have reported an increase in engagement. Despite the suspect being previously unknown to police, there are now 42 pieces of intelligence about her on the police system. There has also been a further 13 charges as a result of this work.


  1. The College of Policing ‘Future Operating Environment 2040'. Available online here.  ↩

  2. Stovall, J (2018). How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Available online here.  ↩

  3. Syed, M (2019). Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking. ↩

Devon & Cornwall Police

Police Now | Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

Shaun Sawyer

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

Cohorts: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled: 8

National Detective Programme

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

Case studies: