This weekend has seen us host the first Police Now Spring Induction. On the 27th and 28th March we spent two days near Earls Court in London with the individuals that will become our trailblazing first Police Now cohort later this year.
The primary purpose of the weekend was to inspire everyone who attended about what we can achieve together within the communities that need us most – working hard on their behalf to deliver transformation by reducing crime and increasing their confidence in policing.
A key part of the two days was working through the fears and questions that the cohort had so that we could prepare them as far as possible for their start in July. Those of us who are serving police officers recognised those fears and questions only too well – and there was a massive range of themes from whether we would be physically large enough to deal with confrontation and how people would react to us when we arrived on Borough policing teams through to how to deal with friends we knew smoked Cannabis and what impact a policing career would have on our friends and family. All of those questions and fears were explored in detail by the cohort and our team of Police Ambassadors so that, as far as we were able, no one left with unanswered questions.
We were joined, on the Friday, by the incomparable Chief Superintendent John Sutherland (@policecommander). He spoke about his continuing passion for policing, more than two decades since his career started.
We had three of the Met’s serving Dedicated Ward Officers join us on the Saturday to talk through some of the work they had been able to achieve over the last year and the innovations they were committing to introduce over the coming six months.
On the Friday afternoon the cohort spread out across London to get a taste of what it’s really like policing the streets of London – attending briefings, meeting police officers and getting out on the ground. The group at Lambeth met Assistant Commissioner Helen King who wisely advised the cohort that her number one piece of advice was, “You earn respect by showing respect.”
As well as serving officers we were also lucky enough to be joined by supporters and partners. James Darley, Director at Teach First and Chair of the Police Now Advisory Board, talked about how by working together across different professions we can make our impact greater than if we work alone.
James Bowler who, while incredibly distinguished in his own right, is also distinguished by being married to a serving police officer. He spoke movingly about the impact of a policing career on our friends and family – everyone came away in no doubt that as well as preparing themselves they had a duty to prepare their families about what was to come.
We were honoured to be joined by Lord Andrew Adonis who spoke about his belief of the difference that programmes such as Police Now, along with Teach First and Frontline, can have in our communities.
Some of our Police Ambassadors managed to pitch, in only four minutes, some of the most important themes of modern policing: Policing with humility, empathy and resilience; Values and ethics in policing; Understanding the evidence base of what works in policing and reducing crime; and Effectively communicating with our communities. They were incredible and passionate – undoubtedly the best in policing
We’ve already started gathering feedback from the two days – and so far it’s pretty good:
“Was an excellent event. Couldn’t fault it. Slick, high energy, brilliantly done.”
“That was incredible, very impressive.”
“Thanks for inviting me, I thought the two days were great. Everyone said they were so excited now they can’t wait to start.”
Throughout the weekend everyone was anonymously voting to give instant feedback to the Police Now team. The most important vote was towards the end of the day when we asked everyone whether they were inspired about the contribution they could make towards the Police Now mission of community transformation. Every single person present said Yes.