Police Now officers tackling crime and anti-social behaviour across South Wales
Wednesday 26 May 2021
Nearly 40,000 fewer anti-social behaviour incidents nationally in areas with Police Now officers – equivalent to 14% fall
Substantial decrease in criminal damage & arson, burglary and theft amongst other crimes
Police Now attracts and develops the most diverse group of officers in policing
Police Now officers are playing a vital role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in South Wales.
Communities where Police Now officers have been posted for the last 22-months have seen 38,772 fewer incidents of anti-social behaviour compared to the same time period from October 2016 – equivalent to a 14 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 14,301 fewer incidents of criminal damage & arson – a fall of 13 per cent. There were 12,460 fewer incidents of burglary – a fall of 16 per cent – and 31,732 fewer incidents of theft, equivalent to a 14 per cent fall.
PC Lucy Tregidon of South Wales Police resolved an ongoing neighbour dispute that was causing almost daily anti-social behaviour calls to police. She worked with the Community Safety Partnership team to implement acceptable behaviour contracts for two of the people involved, which led to related calls to police reducing to just one a month – reducing a repeat demand on resources.
PC Tregidon also encouraged a woman to safely come down from a bridge over the M4 in a situation where there were mental health concerns. The woman was not engaging with police at the scene, but one officer discovered she spoke a number of different languages. PC Tregidon, a German and history graduate, asked the woman in German if she was happy to speak in that language. She established a rapport with the woman and persuaded her to leave the bridge and get into a police vehicle, where her mental health needs were assessed.
Reflecting on this incident, PC Tregidon said: “When I joined the police I assumed that my German would not ever come in useful in the Welsh valleys. I was really proud of being able to identify something that allowed me to establish a rapport with a vulnerable person, help her to engage with police and take control of the situation despite my lack of experience.”
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 South Wales Police. Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan has invested in his communities by partnering with Police Now for the past two years, with eight police constables and 22 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. Police Now recruitment data shows that of those starting on Police Now’s programmes in South Wales to date, more than two thirds (67 per cent) identified as women.
Co-founder of Police Now and former Detective Chief Inspector
Q&A with Police Constable Lucy Tregidon
Neighbourhood Police Officer
National Graduate Leadership Programme Participant
South Wales Police
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. One of the key Peelian principles is ‘the public are the police and the police are the public’. When members of a community can relate to their local police officers they engage better, and a good working relationship between neighbourhood officers and their communities ultimately allows any actions taken to be more effective.
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 thing that stuck with me most from training was to always do things for the right reasons. I have a vivid memory of being told ‘it doesn’t matter if you do the wrong thing as long as you do it for the right reasons’ and this is something I’ve thought about any time I’ve wondered if I’ve made the wrong decision on something.
Have you implemented any new initiatives to reduce ASB or burglary crimes, or build confidence in policing in your community?
One of the biggest issues I faced when I first started on the Neighbourhood team was an on-going neighbour dispute which was resulting in a large number of ASB calls on almost a daily basis. This involved two families and there were large groups of people involved on both sides. I got to know both families and gained their trust before attempting a variety of measures to reduce the demand.
I managed to work with the Community Safety Partnership team to implement Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC) for two of the people involved. Following this, the demand drastically decreased to a point where we now get approximately one call a month. This is a huge improvement from several calls a day.
What has been the moment that you have been most proud of professionally in the last 22 months?
There have been a number of moments that I’ve been really proud of professionally over the past 2 years.
One moment that will always stick in my mind is when I attended a ‘concern for female’ call within my first few weeks on Response. The woman was sighted on a bridge over the M4 in the evening and the caller was concerned for her safety and mental health. I attended with four of my colleagues.
On our attendance the woman was very reluctant to engage with police. My colleagues tried to build a rapport with her but her reluctance to engage made this incredibly difficult. My colleague discovered that the woman spoke various languages and said ‘Lucy speaks languages!’ as a result of my German and History degree. I approached the woman, took a risk and asked ‘können wir auf Deutsch reden?’ (translation: ‘can we speak in German?’). At this the woman immediately engaged with me and cooperated with my requests.
Through establishing this rapport with her I was able to convince her to willingly get into the police vehicle where she was transported to the hospital for her mental health to be assessed. We waited with her for this to happen for several hours, in which time I continued speaking to her in German.
It became clear that she was struggling for various reasons and that speaking in German and knowing that only she and I knew what was being said allowed her the space she needed to open up.
By the time she was assessed she was emotionally stable and cleared to be transported to her home address.
When I joined the police I assumed that my German would not ever come in useful in the Welsh valleys. I was really proud of being able to identify something that allowed me to establish a rapport with a vulnerable person, help her to engage with police and take control of the situation despite my lack of experience.
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.