Impact and Insights Report 2020/21



Connection for Life is a core part of our strategy to achieve our vision of creating a safe environment where everyone, including the most vulnerable and deprived, has a chance to thrive.

We can only achieve this ambitious vision by successfully creating a movement for change in policing, beyond the immediate reach of our programmes. In order to catalyse a movement for change, we need to support ambassadors into leadership positions.

The retention of participants and their active engagement in Connection for Life activities are fundamental in creating long-lasting impact in communities and policing. Police Now participant retention rates are high and consistent across our programmes:

Rates of retention across Police Now Programmes according to gender and ethnicity1





Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic


Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women


National Graduate Leadership Programme 2019/2020

National Detective Programme 2019

The Connection for Life strategy and aims are threefold:

Networks and Innovation

To foster connections and collaboration amongst our ambassadors to share knowledge, expertise, and ongoing support. Police Now actively facilitate the conditions for ambassadors to innovate, improve, develop, and adopt new ways of working which strive to break the link between crime and deprivation.

Police Now’s Ambassador Network is a group of self-organising individuals with a range of experience, skills, knowledge, and backgrounds who are united by their motivation to achieve Police Now’s mission. Lead Ambassadors are leaders amongst peers and ‘co-authors’ of the Police Now Ambassador Network. It is their role to galvanise other ambassadors in our collective work towards achieving Police Now’s vision in the long term.

To date, 17 Lead Ambassadors have been trained and onboarded across ten of our partner forces, with these numbers set to grow in the coming months. Together, Police Now’s Lead Ambassadors have started to create their own mentoring groups, begun to expand the Police Now Affinity Networks, and are aiming to organise a diversity and inclusion forum.

The development of Innovation activity later this year serves to ‘spark the art of the possible’ for Police Now’s ambassadors. We are supporting ambassadors to think creatively about some of the most deeply entrenched problems within both the communities they serve and the police service itself. Where appropriate, the highest potential mission-aligned ideas may be supported by Police Now.


To provide tailored support to increase the number of ambassadors who are successful in gaining substantive promotion to Sergeant or a place on the Fast Track Programme.

The Promotion Support Pathway has been created for current and previous Police Now officers and Syndicate Leads applying to move up the ranks within policing. It is designed to give these individuals the confidence, support, and tools they need to perform well in their promotion applications, interviews, and exams. We also support them to be effective in role through ongoing development.

Supporting our participants and ambassadors into more senior roles in policing will continue the drive to transform communities and policing. We are committed to contributing to increasing the diversity of those in leadership positions within policing and are developing a comprehensive positive action strategy to support this. This year we are supporting over 50 ambassadors to join the College of Policing’s Fast Track Programme and become substantive Sergeants.

Professional Development

To actively support alumni to develop their professional skills throughout their career to maximise their effectiveness in role.

The Professional Development Pathway will support officers to maximise their effectiveness in role and their impact within the force and communities they serve. Police Now’s aim is to offer a clear map of where our ambassadors can go in order to access existing professional development resources within the sector, as well as creating specific opportunities in response to the needs of our ambassadors.

case study

Police Constable James Whild,

National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumnus & Lead Ambassador, West Midlands Police.

“Whilst at the Police Now Academy in 2018, I became aware of a number of proposals put forward by West Midlands Police and the Crime Commissioner which aimed to tackle the scourge of drug-related issues in the West Midlands.“

“One proposal included providing frontline officers with Naloxone, a first-aid medication which reverses the effects of a drug overdose in order to save lives. I was fascinated by this and wanted to get involved in helping West Midlands Police become the first force in the UK to deploy officers with Naloxone.

I joined the force steering group and took on the role of establishing a protocol for usage and conducting the evaluation of the pilot programme that would take place in Birmingham City Centre. Although I worked on a separate ward, I conducted the evaluation alongside my neighbourhood policing duties and presented the findings at a national Naloxone learning event and a force review summit. The evaluation findings demonstrated that the pilot improved knowledge of opiates among officers and increased their confidence in carrying Naloxone kits.
The pilot also helped to reduce the number of overdoses in the community, therefore saving lives and reducing costs to society.

In March 2020, I was given approval from senior leadership to begin the process of bringing Naloxone to my own ward and town centre. In addition to this, I arranged my Police Now external secondment with the University of Sheffield and decided to use this as an opportunity to build on the evaluation of the pilot. Since graduating from the programme, I have begun the process of completing a dissertation on this work with the supervision of an academic professor. I look forward to sharing the findings of this work in the near future to influence what I hope will be further deployment of Naloxone across West Midlands Police and other forces across the country.”

“Neighbourhood policing allows you to engage with residents, work towards long-term solutions for ongoing community issues and make a real change.”

Police Constable James Pullen,

National Graduate Leadership Programme Participant, Essex Police.


  1. The National Graduate Leadership Programme data presented in the graph represents the average rate of retention across Police Now’s fifth and sixth National Graduate Leadership Programme cohorts. ↩

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: