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Making a difference to children this Christmas: Police Now officer supports The Met’s annual Christmas Tree Appeal

Making a difference to children this Christmas: Police Now officer supports The Met’s annual Christmas Tree Appeal

Friday 22nd December 2023

Detective Constable Jessica Peek and her colleagues across the Metropolitan Police Service are leading the force’s annual Christmas Tree Appeal to support disadvantaged children across the city. She speaks to us about the importance of community engagement, leadership, and frontline policing this festive season.

Jessica currently works in the Met’s Frontline Policing Headquarters, dedicated to reviewing and improving London’s frontline policing through innovation. She has recently been successful in securing a promotion and is awaiting her sergeant role allocation, having trained on Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme – a one-year course which supports talented constables to progress to sergeant rank and lead in ways which build public trust and confidence in the service.

Alongside volunteers across the Met’s 32 London Boroughs and The Childhood Trust, she is part of a team of officers driving the annual Christmas Tree Appeal this year. The appeal enables the public to donate presents online – from books to board games and toys – and has provided presents on Christmas Day for more than 150,000 children across London since it launched in 2011.

DC Jessica Peek said: “Through this project, we hope to ensure that thousands of children across London who otherwise would likely go without, wake up with a gift on Christmas Day. I have worked with fantastic colleagues throughout the Met who have volunteered their time outside of work to take part in the appeal – preparing and delivering gifts, promoting the project, and working with local councils to identify children who would most benefit from our support this Christmas. My role has largely been to coordinate these logistics and volunteers, by continuing our partnership with The Childhood Trust and working with my colleagues across The Met.

“Unfortunately, most people come into contact with police officers on some of the worst days of their lives, so it’s important that we engage with the public in other ways to make sure they also see the positive and proactive side of policing. It is especially important that we do this with young people in our society, to build trust right from the start and make sure they know where to go for help. It is essential for building a safer London and a police service that instils trust and confidence in the society we serve.

“I focus on these community relationships and supporting the public year-round in my current role – from improving the systems we use to supporting officers’ wellbeing, so they can in turn better deliver our frontline service. Police Now’s programme has really helped me develop the holistic leadership skills needed for this, with a strong focus on creating inclusive cultures and implementing lasting change. The Christmas Tree Appeal is just a small part of how we engage with young people and partners in the community over the festive season, but it has such a big impact for those children who would otherwise have nothing to open on Christmas Day.

“I want to thank those who have already contributed to our Christmas Tree Appeal so far and to encourage others to get involved. We are still collecting donations and gifts to ensure our young Londoners have a merry Christmas, so there is still a chance to donate if you can and help us spread some festive cheer.”

Jessica joined The Met in 2008 in a police staff role, becoming a warranted officer in 2012 and moving into a detective role in 2015. Before joining her current role in Frontline Policing HQ, she worked in roles across neighbourhood policing, robbery and burglary squads, child protection, domestic violence investigation teams, and the Parliament and Diplomatic Protection Command. She joined Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme in February 2023, further developing her leadership skills and securing a promotion to sergeant rank.

To donate to the Christmas Tree Appeal 2023, please click here.

Christmas Tree Appeal 2023 (photo credit The Metropolitan Police Service)

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