Police Now officers tackling crime and anti-social behaviour across the West Midlands
Monday 17 May 2021
Nearly 4,000 fewer anti-social behaviour incidents nationally in areas with Police Now officers – equivalent to 22% fall
Substantial decrease in shoplifting, criminal damage & arson and burglary 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 the West Midlands.
Communities where Police Now officers have been posted for the last 22-months across the force area have seen 3,921 fewer incidents of anti-social behaviour compared to the same time period from October 2016 – equivalent to a 22 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 1,683 fewer incidents of shoplifting – a fall of 25 per cent. There were 795 fewer incidents of criminal damage and arson, a fall of 10 per cent, and 728 fewer incidents of burglary – also a fall of 10 per cent.
PC Nilufar Ali, of West Midlands Police was shortlisted for an award for her work in developing good relationships with local businesses to tackle street drinking and drug dealing. The initiative she introduced led to a reduction in crime driven by anti-social behaviour. She also relocated a victim of “cuckooing” – where a vulnerable individual’s home was taken over by criminals.
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 in West Midlands Police. Chief Constable Dave Thompson has invested in his communities by partnering with Police Now for the past five years, with 156 police constables and 26 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. 20 per cent of Police Now recruits in the West Midlands are from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds and more than half (60%) identify as female.
Talking about engaging with communities, PC Ali said: “Personally, my diverse background has allowed me to connect with the community better and create meaningful relationships. I have been able to break down barriers and have represented the Asian community. Sometimes this has been as simple as sharing the same language which has meant that I have had improved communication with individuals.”
Co-founder of Police Now and former Detective Chief Inspector
Q&A with Police Constable Nilufar Ali
Neighbourhood Police Officer
National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumnus
West Midlands Police
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?
Diversity and inclusion are one of the most important aspects of modern-day policing, it is imperative that we reflect the communities we serve. Diversity allows for broader and unique aspects to be incorporated in the way we deliver our service. Personally, my diverse background has allowed me to connect with the community better and create meaningful relationships. I have been able to break down barriers and have represented the Asian community. Sometimes this has been as simple as sharing the same language which has meant that I have had improved communication with individuals. This has aided my understanding of the anti-social behaviours in my area and means I have been able to create solutions that are community led.
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?
Police Now has taught me the importance of partnership work and effective communication. I have been able to work with partner agencies in order to provide support for the community and deal with crime, especially anti-social behaviour. By strengthening the relationship with partners, I have increased collaboration and been able to hold community engagement days, joint visits with the council, county lines inputs and more.
What has been the most challenging ASB crime related situation you have had to deal with?
The most challenging situation I have dealt with was initially a missing person, however once the person was found I realised there were larger issues at hand. The flat the individual lived in had been used for ‘cuckooing’ and there were drugs and needles everywhere. This was a challenging job as the individual was reluctant to leave. However, I felt it was my duty as an officer to safeguard them, so I helped relocate the individual and also made referrals.
Have you implemented any new initiatives to reduce ASB or burglary crimes, or build confidence in policing in your community?
A new initiative I introduced was in response to ASB where there were problems with both street drinking and drug dealing. It was difficult to try and develop a strategy that would deal with both problems but through using evidence-based policing I was able to develop Targeted Area Patrols (TAP). This involved a police presence on the road during shifts where a conscious effort was made to create relationships with the businesses and use visible police presence to deter crime. The results of this were a reduction in crime and improved confidence in policing from the businesses. I was also recognised for this work and shortlisted in the Tilley Awards 2020/21.
What has been the moment that you have been most proud of professionally in the last 22 months?
As a fairly new student with only a few months in service, I was able to respond to an immediate call where there was a stabbing. Despite not having much experience yet and being the first on the scene, I was able to act quickly and effectively communicate on the radio. As a result of my actions, I received an Excellence in Service Delivery Award. This was a really proud moment for me and improved my confidence in my ability to deal with critical incidents.
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.