Police Now officers tackling crime and anti-social behaviour across Hampshire
Wednesday 19 May 2021
Nearly 40,000 fewer anti-social behaviour incidents nationally in areas with Police Now officers – equivalent to 14% fall
Substantial decrease in criminal damage & arson, burglary and theft amongst other crimes
Police Now attracts and develops the most diverse group of officers in policing
Police Now officers are playing a vital role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Hampshire.
Communities nationwide where Police Now officers have been posted for the last 22-months have seen 38,772 fewer incidents of anti-social behaviour compared to the same time period from October 2016 – equivalent to a 14 per cent 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 drop in anti-social behaviour, communities have also seen 14,301 fewer incidents of criminal damage & arson – a fall of 13 per cent. There were 12,460 fewer incidents of burglary – a fall of 16 per cent – and 31,732 fewer incidents of theft, equivalent to a 14 per cent fall.
PC Kate Hollis of Hampshire Constabulary faced the challenge of dealing with groups of young people “tombstoning” – jumping into the sea and putting themselves at serious risk – from the old city walls, known locally as the Hotwalls. She made the issue a district priority and analysed the times and places anti-social behaviour was most likely to take place. She also successfully applied for Home Office funding to bring in Mutual Gain, a social enterprise which brought together businesses and the community to help solve the issue.
She said: “When the public see the police and it is a true reflection of themselves and their communities it empowers victims of crime and anti-social behaviour to come forward and report incidents. As a knock-on effect, police are better able to understand their communities and so tackle the issues which are most important to them.”
Police Now’s mission is to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.
Officers 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 Hampshire Constabulary. Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney has invested in her communities by partnering with Police Now for the past four years, with 10 police constables and 12 detective constables joining the force via this route.
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. Recruitment data shows that of those starting on Police Now’s National Detective Programme in Hampshire in 2021, 17% identified as coming from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background and 75% identified as women.
Co-founder of Police Now and former Detective Chief Inspector
Q&A with Police Constable Kate Hollis
Neighbourhood Police Officer
National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumnus
Police Now is trying to increase diversity in the force. Do you think having a force that better reflects the community it serves helps to bring down crimes like anti-social behaviour and why?
Absolutely. When the public see the police and it is a true reflection of themselves and their communities, it empowers victims of crime and anti-social behaviour to come forward and report incidents. As a knock-on effect, police are better able to understand their communities and so tackle the issues which are most important to them. Diversity also brings with it empathy and a lived experience. The value of empathy in a police force can never be undervalued; at the heart of policing is people wanting to help and protect those most in need. So as a direct result of diversifying, we grow, we learn and we improve the service we provide to our communities.
What was the most important lesson you took from your training with Police Now that has enabled you to deal with crime / support your community?
Don’t listen to people who say it can’t be done. There will always be people who tell you “that’s never going to work” or “we’ve tried that” or even “why are you wasting your time”. Prove them wrong.
Have you implemented any new initiatives to reduce ASB or burglary crimes, or build confidence in policing in your community?
Between October 2017 and November 2020, I managed a long-standing issue of anti-social behaviour and tombstoning from the old city walls; the ‘Hotwalls’ as they are locally known. Groups of young people, sometimes large, congregate in the area in the summer months and cause anti-social behaviour and associated crime and disorder.
Understandably, this has an impact on the local residents, businesses, tourists and organisations based in the area. I successfully wrote a bid for funding from the Home Office Serious Violence Task Force (HOSVT) and worked with a social enterprise company called Mutual Gain, who specialise in building social capital in communities.
Mutual Gain held meetings with all ‘Hotwalls’ stakeholders including local community members, businesses, Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire Police, youth services and various other partners, to put together a ‘World Café’ event. This is a method which is used to understand a complex issue and is the start of a wider engagement process to give the community ownership and play a part in problem solving. The aim is to gain the knowledge, thoughts and experiences of a wide range of society in order to work together to build capacity to solve the problems.
The World Café event was scheduled for March 2020, however due to Covid-19 restrictions on gathering this has been postponed until further notice. It is hoped that this event will provide a platform through which local people can express their views and help to build relationships between partners further. The goal is for the local community to propose an idea which will receive funding from the HOSVT to tackle the problem.
Alongside this, I raised the ‘Hotwalls’ at Tactical Planning Meeting, elevating the issues to become a district priority. This enabled the utilisation of resources from across the district in a targeted patrol plan. I graded specific times and dates where ASB was most likely to take place and allocated specific police resources to patrol the area. I also continued to manage relationships with local partners including youth services, Portsmouth City Council, local businesses and residents, updating them with police use of legislation such as dispersal orders and providing a single point of contact for agencies.
What has been the moment that you have been most proud of professionally in the last 22 months?
Planning and implementing a plain clothes operation to apprehend a suspect for a series of serious indecent exposure incidents along Southsea Seafront, which had been taking place over a period of several months. A male was arrested and ultimately the incidents stopped.
Using data taken from Police Recorded Crime Statistics, the independently peer-reviewed figures compare the 22-month period from October 2016 to July 2018 before any Police Now officers had joined their local communities to the period when they joined from October 2018 to July 2020.
The data presented here is subject to limitations with Police Recorded Crime Statistics and methodology. More details on this are available at the bottom of the following Police Now webpage.