Neighbourhood Policing Week: Police Now in Greater Manchester
Thursday 26 January 2023
Police Constable Anna Lola Adefeyisan, who joined Greater Manchester Police in 2020 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, has successfully piloted a new programme in Wythenshawe aimed at reducing youth violence and anti-social behaviour. Thanks to the success of the programme, it is now being rolled out in Stockport and Trafford.
To mark Neighbourhood Policing Week of Action – which celebrates community policing and the achievements of neighbourhood officers across the UK – PC Adefeyisan tells us about her role on the Wythenshawe Neighbourhood Policing Team, the ‘Engage Project’ pilot, and her experience of Police Now’s programme.
What is it like being a neighbourhood police officer?
“As a neighbourhood police officer, I strive to make my community better and safer for everyone. I work closely with a range of people and partners to support victims of crime and safeguard vulnerable members of the community. Together, we build stronger community networks and use problem-solving skills to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and prevent re-offending.
“Being a neighbourhood police officer is very varied, you don’t always know what’s going to happen; you might be dealing with a neighbourhood dispute one day or getting involved in community events another. You have to adapt to whatever comes up and deal with a range of community issues or crimes.”
Can you give us an example of impact you’ve made in your community?
“Since joining Wythenshawe Neighbourhood Policing Team, I have been working on a pilot programme called the Engage Project, to help reduce youth violent crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB).
“The pilot was designed by the Violent Crime Reduction Unit and aims to support young people by leading them away from falling into the cycle of crime. The team has been identifying young people linked to reported crimes, who are not yet known to our community partners. These children, aged 10 – 17, are the ones who are at risk of ‘falling between the cracks’ if appropriate intervention doesn’t take place.
“My role on the team is to look at our crime data each week involving under-18s and identify those that have had no intervention from other agencies. We work to understand everyone’s unique situation and history and decide which partner agencies could support them most. Our community partners offer a range of support such as mentoring programmes, drugs and alcohol rehabilitation services for young people, and family support. We work together to help vulnerable young people have a better quality of life and avoid being exploited or committing crimes and ASB. We have worked with partners such as Social Services, Early Help, Remedi, Talk Listen Change, Eclypse and Afruca.
“So far, we have made 65 referrals for young people who need extra support. Since making the referrals, we have seen reduced rates of reoffending and many of the youth have stopped offending completely.
“Thanks to the success of the programme, it has been rolled out to other areas of Greater Manchester. I have also been asked to run a new pilot scheme aimed at much younger children, with a focus on early intervention to really try to tackle the root causes of crime and support young vulnerable members of society.”
Do you have any advice for others considering a career in neighbourhood policing?
“My advice is to go for it! It’s a big learning curve, and the training is intense, but it’s all worth it.
“I think neighbourhood policing is often what you make it, so my advice would be to be proactive and really apply yourself to achieve your goals. You have a lot of freedom to shape the role, based on what matters to your community as well as your own passions and interests. I am very passionate about supporting vulnerable members of the community, so I have proactively found time to visit assisted living accommodation on a regular basis and get to know individuals who might need my help.
“As a neighbourhood police officer there are times when you have great fun with your colleagues and in the community. There are also times when you deal with awful incidents and support people through the hardest times of their lives. But with the right support networks around you, you really can make a difference.”
Applications for Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme are currently open for talented graduates who want to positively transform communities and become leaders in policing and in society.
For more information on the stats referenced above, please see Police Now’s latest Impact Report here.