Press release

Local Impact – London

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Police Now officers tackling crime and anti-social behaviour across London

Tuesday 29 June 2021

Metropolitan Police Service has recruited 417 police constables with Police Now in last six years

One in four joining MPS through Police Now in 2020 identified as black, Asian and Multiple Ethnic Heritage

Police Now officers PC Beth Roberts and PC Miriam Chapman-Rosenfeld have been tackling crime in London with strong results

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.

“We’re incredibly proud of the positive impact our participants continue to have within their local communities, and their commitment to driving positive change with their colleagues so that everyone in our society, including the most vulnerable, have a chance to thrive”.

David Spencer

Co-founder of Police Now and former Detective Chief Inspector

Neighbourhood police officer | Miriam Chapman-Rosenfeld

Q&A with Police Constable Miriam Chapman-Rosenfeld

Neighbourhood Police Officer

National Graduate Leadership Programme Participant

Metropolitan Police Service

Police Now is trying to increase diversity in the force. Do you think having a force that better reflects the community it serves helps to bring down crimes like anti-social behaviour and why?

Police Officers engage every single day with members of the public and vulnerable people who need support and to be safeguarded against harm, therefore it is essential to communicate effectively and to give the best service possible. If the police force is not representative of the public it serves, then relatability and diversity of thought is prevented. Diversity of thought ensures new and innovative ways to tackle crimes are put forward and that sensitive decisions are made which take into account the experiences of victims. Police officers need to be relatable to build rapport, empathise and de-escalate situations quickly which in turn will drive down crime because the best decisions will be made for each individual who needs our help.

What was the most important lesson you took from your training with Police Now that has enabled you to deal with crime / support your community?

The most important lesson I learnt was to listen to members of the public and understand which crimes matter to them and are affecting them the most. This enabled me to identify volume crimes which were causing distress to many members of the community and start a project to tackle catalytic converter thefts.

Have you implemented any new initiatives to reduce ASB or burglary crimes, or build confidence in policing in your community?

I was lucky enough to be able to use new initiatives and covert tactics as part of an operation to tackle catalytic converter thefts. Covert tactics were employed in order to identify prominent offenders who were committing a very large percentage of catalytic converter thefts across the Met as part of an Organised Crime Gang (OCG). Intelligence and evidence was collated and multiple simultaneous warrants were granted. A hit day was executed with over 300 officers across the Met and warrant venues spanning outside of the Met to areas such as Essex. Thousands of pounds worth of cash was seized, catalytic converters, drugs and there were multiple arrests. The thefts reduced by 49% across the Met in the month immediately following the operation; in this same period it reduced 69% in the South Area BCU.

What has been the moment that you have been most proud of professionally in the last 22 months?

The moment I am most proud of is definitely finding out about the reduction in catalytic converter thefts after the hit day. I started my Police Now project to tackle catalytic converter thefts at the end of 2019, so it had been a long time and a lot of work had been put in. I had spoken to so many members of the public who had been affected and I knew how difficult it was for them, especially during the pandemic, so it was really rewarding to see the reduction.

Q&A with Detective Constable Beth Roberts

National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumna

Metropolitan Police Service

Police Now is trying to increase diversity in the force. Do you think having a force that better reflects the community it serves helps to bring down crimes like anti-social behaviour and why?

Yes, absolutely. Recruiting people from all walks of life, from all cultures and backgrounds is essential. Having the ability to engage and understand different communities often stems from personal experience. Communication is key to policing and the ability to communicate effectively is essential. Effective communication stems from understanding others. Police need a true range of people working from within to do this and ultimately do the best job as a service as possible.

What was the most important lesson you took from your training with Police Now that has enabled you to deal with crime / support your community?

Always empathise and understand the feelings and emotions of everyone you speak to. Treat people with respect and dignity. When engaging with suspects, victims or witnesses all should be dealt with with professionalism and respect. Also, acknowledging and being aware of the wider picture, understanding all of the push and pull factors often from external agencies or government policy affecting the communities we serve. Keep an open mind.

Have you implemented any new initiatives to reduce ASB or burglary crimes, or build confidence in policing in your community?

Violent crime is significantly entrenched in the community I have been working in. As a new officer, addressing and challenging violent crime offences was a major task.

I established a working relationship with Edmonton Eagles Boxing Club. As a ward officer I began training at the club; engaging with the young people who attended club, having important conversations with young people away from the streets in a healthy productive environment, changing police perceptions. After several weeks of training, a referrals scheme was set up working with local schools, YOTS, Enfield Council, social services, DIVERTS, probation services, Police Custody, pupil referral units and NHS. The scheme invited young people at risk of or currently involved in violent crime, gang affiliation and serious organised crime. Following this, funding was secured from the Home Office to ensure free classes, coaching and outreach programmes in schools. This initiative is tackling serious youth violence through long term diversionary measures. The initial crime reduction results are not instantly seen in this kind of engagement work however, the longer term strategy will result in individuals directing their lives away from crime and serious violence. The club provided a safe place for young people to grow in the community

What has been the moment that you have been most proud of professionally in the last 22 months?

After months and months of engagement, hard work, passionate thinking and determination, funding was secured following a bid I submitted. This money was granted to Edmonton Eagles Boxing Club to provide new equipment, community events, training coaches, mentoring schemes, free and diversionary boxing classes for young people (who were selected by multi-agency working, based on who would benefit from the classes). The funds enabled to the club to open 6 days a week, hosting numerous free classes to a community in need of resources, community cohesion, support and a safe place for many young people to develop and grow.

Data references

Using data taken from Police Recorded Crime Statistics, the independently peer-reviewed figures compare the 22-month period from October 2016 to July 2018 before any Police Now officers had joined their local communities to the period when they joined from October 2018 to July 2020.

The data presented here is subject to limitations with Police Recorded Crime Statistics and methodology. More details on this are available at the bottom of the following Police Now webpage.

YOUR PRESS CONTACTS

For any enquiries please get in touch with us. 

VICKIE CUSTY

Media and Communications Manager

HANA TUCKER

Media and Communications Officer

Devon & Cornwall Police

Police Now | Devon & Cornwall Constabulary
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Shaun Sawyer

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

Cohorts: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled: 8

National Detective Programme

Cohorts: —— —— —— —— 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled:

Case studies: