Police Now officers are playing a vital role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Avon & Somerset.
Communities where Police Now officers have been posted for the last 22-months across the force area have seen 695 fewer incidents of anti-social behaviour compared to the same time period from October 2016 – equivalent to a 13% drop.
Officers on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme have been working alongside their colleagues within their local neighbourhood teams.
As well as the fall in anti-social behaviour, communities have also seen 231 fewer incidents of violence and sexual offences – a 5% fall in the same 22-month comparison period. Burglary has also fallen with 181 fewer reported incidents, equivalent to a 22% decrease.
PC Rose Osborne, a Police Now leadership programme participant assigned to Avon & Somerset Police, developed ‘The Call In’ initiative with her colleague. She identified an issue with repeat young drug offenders and seized an opportunity to support them with an innovative rehabilitation project.
She said: “The Call In started when we were tackling the drug dealing problem in our area. We ended up catching a lot of very young drug dealers, but despite making arrests it just didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing. We knew that in many cases, once we’d taken away the illegal drugs and cash, these young offenders would only be in more debt and would often turn back to dealing or even worse options to re-earn the money. Although we’re often told ‘this is what you’re supposed to do, you’re a police officer, you’re arresting people, you’re catching drug dealers’, we knew we could do better.”
Individuals enrolled on ‘The Call In’ programme are given a mentor to work with and for six months they are given a schedule of activities and workshops to engage with. If they stay on track throughout, their criminal case is filed with no further action. If they fail, they go to court and face the usual consequences for their actions.
Evaluation is still in progress but ‘The Call In’ is set to be a much more cost effective and successful rehabilitation approach compared to traditional justice routes. Around half of those that enrolled on the programme completed the full six months and did not go to court.
Police Now’s mission is to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.
In addition to serving as frontline operational police officers, those on Police Now’s programmes develop skills in leadership and problem-solving. They share a commitment to public service, fighting crime and inspiring social change alongside their colleagues.
Police Now has recruited a total of 1,830 officers across 33 forces in the UK, including Avon and Somerset Police. Chief Constable Andy Marsh has invested in his communities by partnering with Police Now for the past four years, with 60 police officers joining the force via Police Now.
Police Now consistently recruits more officers who are women or from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds compared to any other entry route into policing. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Police Now recruits in Avon & Somerset are from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds and more than half (55%) identify as female.