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First cohort of trainee detectives graduate from the Police Now programme

Congratulations to the first ever cohort of detectives trained on the Police Now National Detective Programme, who graduated from the two-year programme on Friday 10 September.

90 officers graduated from the programme, with a ceremony held in Birmingham for those able to attend. The officers were addressed by Deputy Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police and National Police Chief Council lead for Detective Resilience Jason Hoggs, and Detective Chief Superintendent Carolyn Belafonte of Avon and Somerset Police.

DCC Jason Hoggs said “It’s fair to say that policing is an ever-changing environment, we need people who can think differently and can continue to innovate within the policing sector. You’ve all very much been trail blazers and have had a huge influence on detective entry in the police service as a whole. There is no doubt that investigation is at the heart of policing and spending more time as investigators will equip you with the skills you need to be effective in not just the police service but beyond as well. I want to thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do in order to protect the vulnerable and investigate some of the most serious crimes in our society.”

Two officers were presented with awards from representatives at the University of Huddersfield, which delivers the academic aspect of the Police Now programme.

Detective Constable Jessica Shiels from Greater Manchester Police was awarded ‘Best Overall Performance’ for her consistently high standard of work across the programme, delivering carefully researched assignments and demonstrating a clear insight and understanding of the issues covered.

Detective Constable Atia Scrivens of Avon and Somerset Police was awarded ‘Best Impact Assignment’ for her presentation on safeguarding and domestic abuse, demonstrating excellent links between theory and practice and a strong insight into the topic.

Dr Michelle Rogerson, Subject Lead from the Criminology and Policing team at the University, presented the awards. She said “Your success on this programme proves that you are well equipped to lead policing through contemporary and future crime problems. This is more than just a tick box, what you actually have is a methodology for delivering modern professional policing. You have learned when and how to question the way things have always been done, to identify where practice isn’t working and to use the best evidence available to innovate and to lead within your practice. A huge congratulations to you all and good luck in your future careers from all of us at Huddersfield.”

The National Detective Programme pilot launched in 2019 as a pioneering scheme to assist police services in England and Wales with the recruitment, training and development of detectives in the face of a well-publicised national shortage of investigators. The two-year programme is designed to equip participants with the core policing and leadership skills required in modern investigative work. Throughout the two-year training programme, participants play an integral part in solving crimes while developing their leadership, communication and problem-solving skills.

Police Now’s mission is to transform communities, reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and increase the public’s confidence in the police service by recruiting, developing and inspiring outstanding and diverse individuals to be leaders in society and on the policing frontline.

The pilot saw 93 Police Now officers deployed across eight police forces, with 61% identifying as female and 10% identifying as Black, Asian or minority ethnic, (56% of whom were female), with 12 unique languages spoken across the cohort – higher than the workforce national average. The diversity of officers recruited for the second cohort of the National Detective Programme in 2020 only increased, with 66% identifying as women and 24% identifying as from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background (68% of whom identify as women) – across 14 partner forces.

Detective Constable Richard Cooper, Police Now officer at Staffordshire Police, spoke at the event about his experience on the programme. When giving advice about the job, he said: “Expect the unexpected but rise to it. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you’re pushed and when you’re under pressure. I also want to thank the Police Now team who have helped us develop and prepare to deal with serious incidents. The training scenarios created by Police Now throughout academy really equipped us with the knowledge and tools to manage those situations.”

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