Police Now officers are playing a vital role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Dorset.
Communities where Police Now officers have been posted for the last 22-months across the force area have seen 3,259 fewer incidents of anti-social behaviour compared to the same time period from October 2016 – equivalent to a 19 per cent drop.
Officers on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme have been working alongside their colleagues within their local neighbourhood teams.
As well as the drop in anti-social behaviour, communities have also seen 442 fewer incidents of burglary – a fall of 16 per cent. There were 625 fewer incidents of shoplifting – a fall of 23 per cent – and 166 fewer incidents of theft from a person, equivalent to a 29 per cent fall.
PC Ellie Meteau of Dorset Police arrested a woman in Poole town centre for anti-social behaviour following numerous complaints in one day. The woman was begging for money to fund a serious drug addiction and her habit of encroaching on personal space in the midst of a pandemic was causing distress, particularly as she was targeting elderly residents.
The woman had ignored previous dispersal notices so was taken into custody. Whilst she was there, PC Meteau realised that her pattern of offending matched two recent burglaries. The burglaries occurred when the victims had answered the door to a woman asking for money, a description of whom matched the woman arrested for begging. One of the victims of these burglaries was a 90-year-old woman who had been targeted three times and had lost £700. In the last burglary, the victim had been barged aside after refusing entry. The woman was jailed for two years and is also undergoing a detox programme.
PC Meteau said: “The woman was herself vulnerable and a prison sentence is not always what you would wish for. However, many opportunities had been given to her. Since the custodial sentence, the begging issues have dropped. I also released social media posts to give information to the public about how they can help those most in need without having to give cash to people on the street.”
Police Now’s mission is to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.
Officers on Police Now’s programmes develop skills in leadership and problem-solving. They share a commitment to public service, fighting crime and inspiring social change alongside their colleagues.
Police Now has recruited a total of 1,830 officers across 33 forces in the UK, including Dorset Police. Chief Constable James Vaughan has invested in his communities and partnered with Police Now for two years, with eight police constables joining the force via the Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme.
Police Now consistently recruits more officers who are women or from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds compared to any other entry route into policing. Police Now recruitment data shows that of those starting the Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme in Dorset in 2018, 88 per cent identified as women.