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Police Now officer and Home Secretary discuss neighbourhood policing

Police Now officer and Home Secretary discuss neighbourhood policing

Wednesday 6th March 2024

Police Constable Amelia Thorne met Home Secretary James Cleverly during his recent visit to Southend Police Station. Amelia accompanied him on a patrol of Warrior Square, an area which has previously been known for anti-social behaviour and knife crime but has seen significant reduction in crime in recent years.  

Cleverly also met with Chief Constable BJ Harrington and Essex’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst during his visit, to discuss how the force is managing to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. 

Amelia, who currently works on the Southend Neighbourhood Policing Team, joined Essex Police via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme in 2021. The programme supports talented graduates to become exceptional neighbourhood officers across England and Wales. 

Police Constable Amelia Thorne said: “It was a privilege to be asked to take the Home Secretary around my local area with my colleague Sergeant Mint. We took a short walk around Warrior Square, and discussed the area’s ongoing regeneration, including the installation of our OpenGate knife detection system which has been a crucial part of reducing knife crime in the area. We explained how we’re one of the first forces to have this detection model which accurately distinguishes between large metal mass, such as knives, and smaller items, like a set of keys. This helps us focus on identifying those who may pose a threat to public safety.

“He was interested in hearing about us and our careers and was impressed to learn that I’d joined via a Police Now programme and had only been in service for two and a half years. 

“Our Chief Constable encouraged us to use the opportunity to share the improvements we’d like to see across policing, so we discussed the importance of investing in neighbourhood officers to ensure we continue to be a visible presence, preventing and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, and protecting communities.  

“I’m really grateful to my sergeant for putting me forward for this opportunity and to have had the chance to represent neighbourhood police officers across Essex. I definitely won’t forget it!” 

Since completing Police Now’s two-year National Graduate Leadership Programme, Amelia has been in charge of ‘Operation Vimto’, an ongoing project to safeguard sex workers and tackle kerb crawlers in a street well-known to the Southend policing team. Amelia has organised targeted nights of action with her colleagues to identify perpetrators and present them with Community Protection Warnings, banning them from the local area. Amelia has taken a multi-agency approach, working with charities and mental health teams to support the women and developing strong relationships with vigilant members of the local community who share crucial intelligence.  

She also recently supported a victim of repeated hate crimes who had a rock thrown at her balcony, smashing the window, and nearly hitting her. Amelia went above and beyond to provide additional evidence requested by the Crown Prosecution Service, enabling her to secure charges against the offender and secure justice for the victim, who recently wrote to Amelia’s sergeant to express her thanks.  

Amelia has additionally completed training as part of Project Servator, a national initiative which aims to disrupt criminal activity, including terrorism. She is now able to lead deployments against terrorism and is one of four officers across the south of Essex with this level of training. As part of Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, Amelia had the opportunity to undertake a four-week placement with Counter Terrorism Policing which she said sparked her initial interest and provided the stepping stone to move into this area of policing.  

Applications for our National Graduate Leadership Programme are currently closed.

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Police Now | Devon & Cornwall Constabulary
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Chief Constable

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