Hi there – I am James Main and a Sergeant in the Early Intervention Team in Scunthorpe, Humberside Police.
We became a partner force with Police Now for the first time in 2017 and have recently had 10 Police Now participants join the force. I have previously gone to London to help Police Now with assessment, but this time I was off to the University of Leeds to assist with recruitment and marketing.
So recently, on one cold October morning, I found myself standing on the platform of Scunthorpe train station ready to travel to Leeds battling public transport and a train strike. Eventually, I arrived in Leeds and decided to take a brisk walk to Leeds University, which was all up-hill!
I soon arrived on campus and made my way to the bright and busy student union building having passed a large red double decker bus parked outside – I thought I’d fallen asleep on the train and travelled to London by mistake!
“I was about to move into ‘sales’ for the day”
We all met at the ‘Laundrette’ which was the Police Now stand – it certainly stood out from the other displays! It suddenly hit me that after all these years as a police officer, I was about to move into ‘sales’ for the day. This isn’t what I thought I’d signed up for as an officer!
It was also strange to wear a Police Now black hoodie (not sure when or if I have ever worn a hoodie!) rather than my uniform. But armed with an iPad and information cards, I started to ‘sell’ to passing students. I soon had a small gaggle registering their details and using the interactive screen on the stand, while dishing out chocolate coins as prizes and declaring they had won a ‘bag of swag’ for their endeavours.
At lunch time I was sent off to stand outside the Students’ Union building trying to entice students to the stand. This was a slightly harder role and it was at this point I vowed to be extra nice to those cold-callers you get each week ringing to see if you have been miss-sold PPI! We did get some interest but had a fair few knock-backs as well!
“explaining the great benefits of joining Police Now”
I spent the day answering students’ questions – whether it was explaining that the launderette was the scene of a crime that a Police Now participant worked with colleagues on, sharing the details of my job or explaining the great benefits of joining Police Now.
I’ve seen first-hand the great, diverse officers it has brought into my force so wanted to encourage others to join too. I am not sure I could do ‘sales’ every day but it was good for a day and I’d encourage others to get involved!