In July 2013 we pitched the idea of Police Now to the Commissioner of the Met Police and about 150 colleagues at a C100 event. Today we started our first assessment centres for the 50 participants who’ll join Police Now next summer. It’s an incredibly competitive process – with over 1200 candidates applying for the programme only the very best will get through.
But being the best isn’t just about being a graduate and being smart – it’s about a lot more. Throughout the assessment centres we’re testing a range of competencies and candidates need to prove to us that they have common sense and the ability to communicate with a diverse range of individuals.
Being part of Police Now isn’t only about being a good police officer – although that’s obviously absolutely a requirement for our participants. It’s about being part of a movement of people who are ready and prepared to stand for making a difference, transforming communities and inspiring others to be part of that too.
One of the things we get asked is how Police Now is a ‘leadership development programme’ if there’s no automatic promotion (which there isn’t) and no formal line management responsibilities (which there aren’t). Well, it’s because we believe that Police Constables, by virtue of what they’re doing, are leaders themselves. If you turn up first on scene to an incident the public are expecting you to lead. The concept of the Police Constable as a leader is never more true in the case of colleagues working as Dedicated Ward Officers in some of London’s most challenged wards. Here the local residents and those working in that local community are absolutely expecting our Dedicated Ward Officers to be police officers who are community leaders. Someone who is working to reduce crime, inspiring a local community and co-ordinating local services to solve local problems on behalf of those who often can’t do it for themselves. That really is a leadership challenge and a challenge that we believe Police Now participants will rise to.
It’s been a great journey to get to where we’ve got to over the last year. The first member of the Police Now team started in May 2014 – so what have we achieved in six months?
- Delivery of a highly impactful attraction campaign with a presence at over 30 of the UK’s best universities.
- 24 applicants for every place on the programme starting in Summer 2015: 2200 candidates formally registered their interest & 1200 submitted an application.
- 47% of applicants were female compared to 25% of the Met’s policing workforce and 56% of the UK’s undergraduates.
- 18% of applicants were BME compared to 10% of the Met’s policing workforce and 18% of the UK’s undergraduates.
- Recruitment and training of 150 police officers as University Ambassadors who spread the message of Police Now all over the country.
- The Met Commissioner, the Home Secretary and Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary publicly committed their support to Police Now.
- Seed funding for the programme provided by the Home Secretary.
- All three main political parties committed their support to support to Police Now.
We couldn’t have done it alone so if you’ve been part of the journey – thank you for everything you’ve contributed. You are part of the movement.