Officers on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme have been working alongside their colleagues within their local neighbourhood teams and are contributing to tackling crime in Northumbria.
PC Amii Stewart of Northumbria Police led the response to a spate of thefts from vehicles in an area of North Shields – she disseminated leaflets in high-risk areas and conducted house-to-house visits to keep residents informed and provide reassurance. As a result, the number of reported thefts from vehicles in this area fell.
PC Maggie Ashton, also of Northumbria Police and formally a Troop Commander in the Royal Signals, recently helped tackle an issue of repeat crime in an area of Blyth as one of those leading on Project Aurora. This saw officers and partner agencies come together to build on work already under way, focussing on problem offenders, environmental health issues, community engagement and poor-quality private housing. In one week, 23 tonnes of waste were removed, graffiti was cleared from lanes, drugs were seized and four connected arrests made. A virtual residents meeting was held which received a positive response. There was a fall of nearly half (44%) in anti-social behaviour perpetrated by young people and an overall reduction in crime in targeted problem areas.
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.
Speaking of her role as a neighbourhood officer, PC Ashton, said: “What I’ve learnt from my neighbourhood role is that building relationships with people is the main way to tackle crime and ASB – that means building relationships with offenders to understand why they offend and with members of the community to understand their issues.”
When asked about her motivations for leaving her role in the army and as a teacher to join policing, she said: “I wanted to pursue a career which involved helping people and I knew that policing would provide an exciting, varied career where I could really make a difference.”
Reflecting on the career change, she said: “If you want a career that challenges you every day and provides real opportunities to make a difference, policing ticks all the boxes.”
Police Now has recruited a total of 1,830 officers across 33 forces in the UK, including Northumbria Police who have partnered with Police Now for the past three years with 70 police constables and 16 detective constables joining the force via this route.
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. In Northumbria Police, over half (59%) of Police Now recruits identify as female.
PC Stewart said: “It is important we reflect the communities we serve for many reasons, including to help ensure we are the best we can possibly be and so that people can relate to our officers. Through continued engagement, we can build confidence and help address the issues which really matter to people.”
“The North East is such a fantastic place to live and work – and I am proud to serve all of the communities who contribute so much to the region.”