This year 563 participants joined policing through the National Graduate Leadership Programme and 224 joined through the National Detective Programme. Despite this nearly 100% year-on-year growth since 2019/20 we continue to maintain the highest standards for those joining the programme. This is demonstrated by the intensity of the competition to join our programmes with over 18,000 people applying to Police Now this year.
There has also been no compromise in our drive to ensure our cohorts are highly diverse – this year women represent 57% of our participants and nearly 20% of our participants are Black, Asian, or from a Minority Ethnic background – both proportions being significantly higher than other entry routes into policing. Police Now’s commitment to social mobility also remains undimmed with 15% of our participants having been entitled to free school meals as a child.
To effectively take on the complex challenges facing policing and communities, policing must continue to adapt, innovate, and embrace change. Our data clearly demonstrates that Police Now’s participants bring into policing high levels of emotional intelligence, strong communication and problem- solving skills, underpinned by a strong commitment to serving the public. These are the vital leadership skills and qualities which are needed to constructively challenge the status quo and help to deliver innovation on the policing frontline.
Police Now’s programmes enable our participants to build on these skills. Over the last year we have continued to develop our programmes, constantly looking at how we can introduce new ways of developing our participants to better enable them to increase the impact they are able to have in their communities. We launched our first iteration of Police Now’s programmes under the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) in 2019 and are now well into the development of the next iteration of the programmes under the PEQF for delivery in 2021/22.
Encouragingly the vast majority of our participants choose to remain in frontline policing roles with high retention rates which notably are highly consistent across different demographic groups. Since our first cohort joined policing in 2015, a significant number of our alumni have become Detectives, been promoted or been successful in gaining a place on the national College of Policing Fast Track programme.
Our programmes themselves remain focused on enabling our participants to have a positive impact in the communities that they serve. As the data and case studies show, Police Now participants are having a positive impact on crime and anti- social behaviour in communities across England and Wales, tackling a range of issues from serious violence to everyday disorder which has a detrimental impact on those who are most vulnerable in our society. Working with their colleagues across policing and in partnership with our communities, they demonstrate that we can continue to achieve our collective vision to create a safe environment where everyone has a chance to thrive.
As ever, I remain hugely grateful to our participants and policing colleagues who continue to work tirelessly to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.