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Two Police Now officers win Problem-Oriented Policing Award in Lancashire Police

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Two Police Now officers win Problem-Oriented Policing Award in Lancashire Police

Thursday 21 July 2022

Police Constables Fiona Rowe and Megan Boon have won the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Award in Lancashire Police’s 2022 Annual Force Problem-Solving and Evidence Based Policing Awards.

The POP Award is presented to the officers who, through strong problem-solving skills and hard work, have demonstrated significant results and commitment to tackling crime and keeping communities across Lancashire safe.

The officers, who both joined Lancashire Police via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, received the award for significantly reducing reported thefts of valuable York stone flags from churches in West Lancashire – after a series of high-profile cases. They were shortlisted in the ‘Police Now and Student Officer’ category before going on to win the overall POP award.

Following four large scale thefts of York stone flags, which all happened within a few weeks and had a significant effect on the community, PCs Boon and Rowe worked together to tackle the problem. Through a multi-layered partnership approach – including cross-border working to target offenders, location mapping, property marking, proactive patrols, a social and national media campaign, and establishing a Church Watch Scheme – their work contributed to the significant reduction in reported thefts.

Police Constable Megan Boon is based in Skelmersdale Neighbourhood Policing Team and joined the force via Police Now’s programme in 2021, after completing a degree in Architecture and then working within the recruitment sector. She said: “I am delighted to have been recognised in this year’s POP awards alongside Fiona – but, more importantly, we have worked hard and will continue to work hard to reduce crime and make a difference in our communities. Being a Neighbourhood Police Officer comes with a lot of challenges, but it is certainly rewarding work. At the end of the day, it’s all about supporting victims of crime and making a real difference for the people and places that need support.”

Police Constable Fiona Rowe is based in Ormskirk Neighbourhood Policing Team and joined the force via the programme in 2020 after completing a degree in Biological Sciences and working as a microbiologist and a cancer therapy scientist. She said: “I have very much enjoyed working with Megan – another Police Now officer – on this project, it’s been great to come together to protect our communities from further thefts and work across the neighbourhood policing teams to tackle this issue. I am pleased and humbled to have received the award, I wasn’t expecting to win the overall award as we were up against some fantastic officers across the force who have all worked on reducing crime and supporting victims in Lancashire. This was certainly a team effort, with support from colleagues across both the force and the wider community.”

Deputy Chief Constable Sacha Hatchett said: “I am really proud of our officers and police staff who continuously apply innovative approaches to problem solving to keep our communities safe.  The quality of submissions has been of an exceptionally high standard this year and I and the rest of the judges were extremely impressed with all of the category winners.”

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said: “The Problem-Solving Awards are a fantastic opportunity for officers, staff and partner agencies to come together, share best practice and celebrate innovative ways of working and fighting crime. The event highlighted some fantastic projects, showcasing officers and staff going above and beyond to tackle crime and to make Lancashire safer.

“Proactive and innovative policing is exactly what I want to continue to see in Lancashire and my new Police Innovation Fund is now open to support new projects and different ways of working to continue to take the fight to criminals and protect local communities.”

The awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 29th June at the force’s Police HQ in Sutton and was judged by a panel consisting of Deputy Chief Constable Sacha Hatchett, Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden, Dr Nathan Birdsall, Research Fellow in policing and criminal investigation at UcLan and Sylvia Chenery, consultant to UK Police Force.

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Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme and National Detective Programme are structured, two-year programmes which recruit, train and develop inspiring individuals to be neighbourhood police officers or detective constables in forces across the country.

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