Why did you want to join Police Now?

It’s always been an ambition of mine to join the Police. While I was at university I joined the Met Police as a Special Constable and spent a lot of time working closely with a Dedicated Ward Officer who was outstanding. This time made me realise the importance of neighborhood policing. I saw that the Police Now programme focused on the role of being a neighbourhood officer and the rest is history.

Tell us about the programme.

As part of the programme you’re placed in one of the countries most challenged areas as a neighbourhood officer, meaning that neighbourhood is your patch. You’re expected to identify issues and use available legislation and the soft skills that you’ve been taught during the Summer Academy to try and resolve these issues. You’re expected to present every 100 days to colleagues and representatives from partner Police forces at Impact events.

The thought of presenting every 100 days can be daunting, but you’re never short of things to present and it’s here that you can share best practice.

Tell us a bit about the training.

The training can be broken down into classroom based learning and field training. In the classroom you learn the key legislation, and on field training you put this all to practice in a busy area and work towards achieving independent patrol status.

The teaching style is unique and intense. It was one of the toughest experiences I’ve ever had, but the life skills I’ve gained will stick with me outside of the policing context.

What’s your favourite part of the job? Why?

My favourite part of the job is the people. I love walking around my neighborhood just generally talking to people – there are so many lovely, pro-Police people that stop and thank you for the job you’re doing. People are also the best sources of information – members of the public always give me good up to date intelligence about my neighbourhood, which helps me to build a bigger picture of the area.

What skills have you gained?

In addition to the practical skills developed during the programme, I’ve gained key skills around emotional intelligence and empathy. In policing you deal with a lot of people that aren’t having the greatest of times, whether it’s because they’ve been a victim of crime, just been arrested, need first aid or are suffering a mental health episode; you have to tailor your communication based on the situation.