Police Now officer in Cheshire works with ‘Designing Out Crime’ team and tackles drug dealing and shoplifting
Friday 11 February 2022
PC Rachel Lloyd joined Cheshire Constabulary to build safer communities for her children, after working in catering and restaurant management for 12 years. She has led a drugs warrant, arrested a shoplifter in Asda, and is working to ‘design out crime’ in Winsford town centre. She is also an ultra-marathon runner in her spare time.
Police Now is working in partnership with the Home Office and police forces across the country, including Cheshire Constabulary, to recruit outstanding officers to the police service in support of the national Police Uplift programme.
Police Constable Rachel Lloyd joined Cheshire Constabulary last summer via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme and is working as a neighbourhood police officer in Winsford.
She said: “After graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in politics, I fell into the catering world and eventually became a catering manager at a theatre. But I always wanted to have a job where I could really help people. After having my two children, I was motivated to finally apply to the police and contribute to building safer communities for them and the next generation.
“Since joining the force I have been involved in a lot of community policing work as a neighbourhood police officer. For example, I recently swore out and executed a drugs warrant. My colleagues on my neighbourhood policing team and I seized Class B drugs and folding lock knives. The warrant was carried out during the day so neighbours could see the proactive policing work going on in their neighbourhood to keep them safe, and so potential offenders would be deterred from committing crimes.
“I have also been working on crime-prevention planning with the ‘Designing Out Crime’ team and Cheshire police specialists, who feed into Winsford council and are planning the refurbishment of Winsford town centre. I have been advising on ways that architects can proactively prevent crime through their design work, by removing spaces that may inadvertently provide opportunities to commit crime or anti-social behaviour. For example, we are ensuring unsafe alleyways are not built and that pedestrian routes are carefully designed for safety and convenience, and that proper lighting and CCTV cameras are placed in the best areas.
“Another example was in Asda, where a couple of colleagues and I were taking part in a plain-clothes operation. A man attempted to steal a crate of £190 worth of alcohol. He burst through the fire doors right next to us and we were able to catch him before he made it to the getaway car stationed outside. He had several other shoplifting offences against his name and was sentenced to 15 weeks in prison. However, he seemed genuinely remorseful and I referred him to the ‘Navigate’ scheme, which offers people extra support when they come out of prison and reduces the chance of reoffending.“
PC Lloyd is also an avid runner, running over 2,000 miles and taking part in two ultra-marathons last year. She was the first woman to cross the finish line and placed second overall in ‘The Wall’ marathon along Hadrian’s wall last year. She also raised over £2,000 for the NHS during lockdown by running 104 laps around her streets – the length of a marathon.
PC Lloyd said: “One day I hope to run between all the Cheshire police stations, but right now I am focusing on my Police Now training. Police Now is unlike any other route into policing, offering a fresh outlook. It offers the opportunity to make real tangible changes in communities. If you want a career where no day is the same, whilst also feeling like you can make a positive impact using transferable skills, then Police Now is the right career path for you.”
Police Now has partnered with Cheshire Constabulary for three years and has recruited a total of 16 police constables to the force to date via the Police Now programmes.
Applications for the National Graduate Leadership Programme have now opened, alongside the launch of the Home Office’s new advertisement campaign which calls on people to ‘join the police to make a difference.’ The structured, two-year programme supports graduates in neighbourhood policing roles across England and Wales.
Clare Power, Police Now’s Recruitment and Marketing Director, said: “We believe that neighbourhood policing is vital in supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our society. In a neighbourhood policing role, officers can become leaders in society and work alongside residents, local organisations and charities to reduce crime and transform a community into a safe and thriving place to live.
“In order to achieve this, it is crucial that our police service reflects the communities it seeks to serve and that we recruit outstanding graduates and career-changers to become leaders on the policing frontline. Only when the police has a workforce that is diverse, in both thought and background, can we lead real change in society and be the difference we wish to see.”
The Police Uplift programme has recruited more than 11,000 of the 20,000 new police officers pledged by March 2023 – 965 of which joined via Police Now, and with over 150 further officers due to begin their academy training in March.
Police Now has partnered with 33 police forces across England and Wales since it was established seven years ago. Police Now has recruited over 2,000 officers across England and Wales (over half of these officers were recruited prior to the Uplift, so are not included in Uplift stats referenced).
These Home Office Police Uplift stats have been taken from report published Wednesday 26th January 2022: England and Wales, quarterly update to 31 Dec 2021.