Police Now officers are playing a vital role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in London more than six years since the social enterprise launched.
Police Now was founded in 2014 by Metropolitan Police detectives David Spencer and Tor Garnett. In its first year, Police Now supported the recruitment and training of 71 police constables in The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) whilst establishing itself as an independent social enterprise, and has since recruited another 346 police constables to the force via this route. In total, Police Now has recruited 1,830 officers across 33 forces in the UK.
PC Miriam Chapman-Rosenfeld of the MPS launched a project to tackle catalytic converter theft after speaking to the community and discovering the scale of the problem.
She was part of a covert operation involving 300 officers that culminated in a co-ordinated “hit day” to bring down the organised crime gang behind the thefts. Thousands of pounds worth of cash, catalytic converters and drugs were seized and there were multiple arrests.
Subsequently, catalytic converter thefts fell by 49% across the MPS region in the month immediately following the operation. This included a 69% reduction across PC Chapman-Rosenfeld’s local Basic Command Unit (Sutton, Croydon and Bromley).
PC Chapman-Rosenfeld said: “The most important lesson I learnt [from my Police Now training] was to listen to members of the public and understand which crimes matter to them…I had spoken to so many members of the public who had been affected [by catalytic converter theft] and I knew how difficult it was for them, especially during the pandemic, so it was really rewarding to see the reduction.”
DC Beth Roberts also of the MPS, worked with Edmonton Eagles Boxing Club in north London to set up a referrals scheme to defer young people away from violent crime and anti-social behaviour. With the funding she secured, the Boxing Club was able to buy new equipment, stage community events, remain open six days a week and offer free classes to young people either exposed to violent crime or at risk of falling into a life of crime.
The project involved working with local schools, youth offending teams, pupil referral units, the council, social services, probation services and the NHS in order to reduce risk of violent crime in Edmonton, which was affecting nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of the 18-30 year olds in her community at the time.
DC Roberts said: “Communication is key to policing and the ability to communicate effectively is essential. Police need a true range of people working from within to do this and ultimately do the best job as a service as possible.”
Police Now’s mission is to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.
Police Now recruits a high proportion of officers who are women or from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Recruitment data shows that of those starting on Police Now’s programmes in the MPS in 2020, one in four (25 per cent) identified as coming from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and more than half (55 per cent) identified as women.