Alumni Spotlight: PC Dominic Raine, Neighbourhood Police Officer in Northumbria Police
Monday 30 May 2022
Police Constable Dominic Raine, who joined Northumbria Police in 2019 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, shares his experiences of being a neighbourhood police officer in this month’s Alumni Spotlight.
Whilst on the programme, Dominic saw huge success in his efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour in Hendon. His work with local youth in the community led to a national award from Show Racism the Red Card, a Pride in Policing Award, a Commander’s Compliment and praise from the Police and Crime Commissioner.
After graduating the Police Now programme, PC Raine decided to remain in a neighbourhood policing role to continue developing connections with partner organisations and driving positive change within his local community.
PC Dominic Raine (right), Neighbourhood Police Officer with Northumbria Police
“Before I joined Northumbria Police in 2019, via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, I was working for Samsung as a Product Specialist and Trainer. I loved tech and I worked with some great people, but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. I wanted something less repetitive, something where no two days would be the same and I could make a real impact.
“That’s when I found out about Police Now, which definitely ticked this box. I hadn’t considered a career in policing before but I did have an existing interest in the criminal sector, having studied aspects of criminology within my Sociology degree at the University of Sunderland.
“Police Now appealed to me as it gave police officers a real opportunity to have an impact on the communities we serve and really change the lives of people in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. I liked the idea of being able to solve problems long term and put the correct building blocks in place to really make a big change in the future.
“Whilst I was on the programme I worked as a Neighbourhood Police Officer on the Hendon Neighbourhood Policing Team. We had an ongoing problem with anti-social behaviour (ASB) on my ward and, on several occasions, young people in the area told me they were only involved in ASB because they were bored. I decided to approach community partners and see if we could host some activities for youth in the area, to give them something meaningful to take part in and divert them away from ASB and, in the long-term, prevent them from getting caught in the cycle of crime.
“We partnered with a local youth and community charity called Young Asian Voices, who agreed to let us use their premise on our patch in Hendon one night a week for football practice. The results were incredible, we started with a group of 12 children (aged 12 – 13) once a week and now, two years on, there are over 60 young people (aged 12 – 16) taking part across four sessions a week.
“We saw a 45.8% decrease in ASB incidents in the three months after launching the project with Young Asian Voices, in comparison to the three months beforehand, and a 65% decrease in that first month. There are of course multiple factors to this but I am very pleased that the work my colleagues and I did on this project contributed to reducing ASB in the community so significantly.
“Unfortunately the first COVID-19 lockdown hit about four months after the project launched but we carried on engaging with teenagers on the programme via Zoom, until lockdown guidelines for outdoor activities eased and we were able to continue.
“The children on the programme worked together to produce a video (including speaking, music, sport, and dance), seeking to combat racism. Their video won a national award in April 2020 from Show Racism the Red Card. The youth engagement project also received praise from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC Kim McGuiness) and won a Pride in Policing Award in December 2020 and a Commander’s Compliment in June 2021. I of course can’t take credit for all of this, it was a multi-agency, team effort, involving our Neighbourhood Police Team, Sunderland Council ASB teams, Social Services and many other organisations.
“I recently connected with a new Police Now officer within Essex Police who is thinking of implementing a similar project within her own neighbourhood policing team. Networking and sharing learning is so important in policing and I would advise any new officer to take advantage of Police Now’s network, and your force colleagues, when you are trying to solve a problem.
“After graduating from the programme in 2021, I remained in my neighbourhood policing role in Hendon and I still drop into the football sessions when I can. I have considered moving into Response or even something like the Firearms Support Unit in future, but at the moment I am very happy to remain within neighbourhood policing. I find the neighbourhood work very rewarding, even if it can be challenging at times. It’s great to see the change that you can make by integrating with the community and being able to develop connections with partner organisations which make lasting change.”