Police Constable Amelia Saunders, participant on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, was nominated for a Humberside Police Problem-Oriented Policing Award, for her work to reduce anti-social behaviour (ASB) and disrupt organised crime in North Hull.
In her role as Neighbourhood Beat Officer, PC Saunders and her colleagues on the Neighbourhood Policing Team became aware that children were being criminally exploited by a local organised crime group. The gang was exploiting young people to transport drugs locally and via county lines, which in turn was leading to increased incidents of ASB – particularly in Orchard Park.
PC Saunders created a problem-solving plan with the local council to identify groups of children who would benefit from intervention. Meetings were organised with social workers, schools, the children, their parents, and other relevant parties, to establish how to take the plan forwards and identify which children would benefit most from different levels of intervention.
Those most at risk were invited to attend sports sessions twice a week throughout the school summer holidays, to divert them away from the cycle of crime. In partnership with the City of Hull Sporting Club and Hull FC, they were offered the choice between boxing, rugby or football.
The sessions were well attended and there was a reduction in calls to Humberside Police regarding ASB in July – August, compared to the previous six weeks. This was despite being over the summer holiday period, which usually sees a spike in ASB calls to the police. There was also an overall reduction in ASB in Orchard Park between July – August compared to the previous two years, due to the efforts of the entire Neighbourhood Policing Team.
PC Saunders, who joined Humberside Police last year, said: “The project has helped me develop relationships with young people in the community at risk of Child Criminal Exploitation. By building better relationships within our community, it enables us to better support and safeguard these individuals moving forward.”
Due to the project’s success, Hull FC will continue to run the rugby and football sessions for young people at risk of ASB and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) in the area for another three years.
Police Sergeant Andrew Waller on the Northern Local Policing Team said: “The award is a real achievement for the team of police officers, council, schools and local community groups. PC Saunders has been instrumental to the project’s success. Not only has she led on the engagement and implementation, she has broken down barriers within our community and young people. The project has been extended due to its success and a legacy created. This would not have been achieved without Amelia’s hard work and dedication, her skillset outweighing her service.”
The Humberside Police Problem-Oriented Policing Awards took place last month in Melton, East Riding of Yorkshire, and were hosted by Supt Jenny Bristow and Assistant Chief Constable Darren Downs.
Humberside Police has partnered with Police Now for four years, with 40 police constables and 10 detective constables joining the force via this route.