“I was working in academia as a researcher and teaching assistant at Newcastle University when I saw the opportunity to join Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme.
“I joined the programme in 2015 and worked as a Dedicated Ward Officer with The Metropolitan Police Service (The Met) for the two-year programme, in a challenging community in Tottenham. It gave me the opportunity to develop my practical skills and really make a difference in the neighbourhood.
“One of my proudest moments as a neighbourhood officer was issuing the first ever closure order in my borough, for a residential premise being used in the supply of Class A drugs. Given it was the first time this legislation was used in our borough it did require a lot of work, with a lot of back and forth with the courts. I was pleased to receive a successful outcome in the end, and I actually ended up writing guidance on closure orders for other officers within my borough.
“Whilst on the Police Now programme, I was also able to undertake an internal attachment in my force with a specialist command unit in fraud investigation in SOCC (Serious Organised Crime Command). I had the opportunity to shadow officers from a range of units, from the Cyber Crime Unit to the flying squad – an armed detective unit that investigate robberies (primarily armed robberies). This gave me a much broader understanding of the demands on policing.
“After serving in The Met for just over two years, I left the police when I decided to move out of London.
“Not long after I left, I was given the opportunity, through Police Now, to present to the Home Affairs Select Committee on their inquiry into the future of policing. The committee was interested in the culture and skillset within the police service, as well as with resource management, communication and the retention of skilled officers. Reflecting on my time on the Police Now programme as a Dedicated Ward Officer for Tottenham, I was able to offer a first-hand experience of working for the police service and the key challenges currently facing the policing sector. It was a great honour to be invited to take part in the inquiry and I hope that I helped to shape the future of policing with my input.
“After working in teaching and as a freelance researcher for a couple of years, I realised how much I missed policing and found an opportunity I was incredibly interested in with the College of Policing.
“I have been with the College of Policing for about 2 years now, working on the ‘digital intelligence and investigation project’ within the capability improvement hub. The project is about delivering operationally focused learning resources to forces, to help them develop responses to crimes with a digital element. We identify what frontline officers and staff need to know and turn those concepts into digital resources.
“For example, last year I worked on ‘Operation Modify’ which was about upskilling officers and police staff with the digital skills required during investigations. We produced a 10-episode learning product, which followed the events from the beginning of an initial incident to the end, to show how to identify sources of digital evidence and respond to digital opportunities.
“In my job interview for the College, I drew on a lot of examples of work I had done on the Police Now programme as well as my previous work within research and teaching. As a Dedicated Ward Officer I had a lot of ownership of my work and, despite only being in the police for a couple of years, I ended up with a lot of really strong examples of project work and impact as a result. Whilst on the programme we also regularly presented examples of our work at ‘impact events’, which held us accountable for making real tangible impact in our communities. I drew on examples from those events in my interview, and the experience and knowledge I developed of frontline policing is incredibly valuable within my current role.
“I plan to remain within the College of Policing for the foreseeable future, working on the Digital Intelligence and Investigation project. I hope to continue with my digital work for the time being, as it is such an important area for police forces.
“It’s an incredibly rewarding job and I would recommend the Police Now programmes and policing more broadly for anyone looking for a meaningful career – the experience I have gained and the opportunities I have had are something I’m extremely grateful for.”