One force for good: PC Abbie Hill’s graduation speech
Tuesday 1 November 2022
Last week, over 400 neighbourhood police officers graduated from Police Now’s two-year National Graduate Leadership Programme.
Graduation ceremonies were held over two days to celebrate the officers’ achievements with friends and family.
Addressing her fellow cohort, Police Constable Abbie Hill of West Midlands Police, spoke about her experience over the last two-years and her optimism for the future.
PC Hill’s parents said: “It was wonderful to be able to celebrate with Abbie and her colleagues. It is very encouraging to see how young people are being trained to bring about change on our streets and in people’s lives. Policing is not an easy career and those who choose it deserve our respect and thanks.”
Powerfully branding the cohort ‘one force for good’, PC Abbie Hill said:
“We are here today to reflect on how far we’ve come, look forward together, and celebrate our achievements with those who have supported us.
“I joined the Police Now training academy two years ago before landing on my neighbourhood team in East Birmingham.
“I wonder if you can pinpoint the moment you realised you were actually a police officer? Maybe it was that first time going out in full uniform… maybe it was your first stop-and-search… maybe it was your first arrest, your first foot-chase?
“For me, it was not some exciting first-time experience… it was just another day. I was visiting a family who were victims of the most horrific and heart-breaking abuse.
“They were angry, they felt they had been let down by a system that was supposed to protect them, and that they had nowhere to turn for help. I had been visiting them for months, trying to regain their trust. But on this day, months down the line, their youngest child grabbed hold of my hand and said: ‘when I grow up, I want to be a police lady just like you.’
“That day I had become more than Abbie, I was PC Hill. I had played a part in protecting, supporting, and building trust with a vulnerable family. Just like that, I had become part of something bigger.
“Look around at your colleagues. Right here, right now, you can see an incredible force for good gathered together in one place. We are surrounded by officers who have stopped young people getting caught up in gang violence; built up community partnerships; tackled drug dealing; protected vulnerable people; and restored trust in the police.
“We are from forces all over the country, but we are also one force together. One force for good. Who knows what difference we could make in the years ahead…
“I’m continually inspired by the women and men around me. We all know this job is not easy. Some of the most inspiring officers I know are the ones who have been abused, spat on, or injured, and yet, they keep coming back. We don’t always get it right, but from my past two years, I know that I’m surrounded by people who show up and make a difference every single day…
“We want to thank the Police Now team for the opportunities and support they have given us… and our family and friends who have debriefed us after the worst, laughed with us after the best, and picked us up after the hardest. For many of us, it has been a rollercoaster, but we made it – congratulations everyone.”
Applications for Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme are currently open. To hear about the impact that Police Now officers are making across the UK, please see Police Now’s latest Impact Report here.