A diverse group of neighbourhood police officers and detectives, given the highest levels of support and knowledge, can change lives. The Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 exposed failures of the police force globally, and highlighted the need for a representative policing workforce. Charity Police Now, which supports recruitment in the police force, recognised that the police needed to recruit and train a diverse group of high-achieving graduates.
The Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme and National Detective Programme (NGLP/NDP) are L&D initiatives that deliver on Police Now’s mission to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.
Its 2020/21 cohort is the most representative to date, with 25 per cent of the 600 graduates identifying as BAME, and is the largest ethnic minority diversity to be achieved in UK police recruitment. Police Now acted on feedback that diverse officers feel less welcomed by teams compared to their white counterparts, so ensured that a range of guest speakers, lessons and coaching was made available.
It also implemented training which helped participants to feel supported and capable of having a visible impact in communities from the start of their journey. Before they start their first day of formal on-the-job training, cohorts are supported with over 100 hours’ worth of online core learning, revision and webinars.
The blended learning approach of online seminars and lectures, in-person role play, and practical lessons accelerated participants’ learning, who became “strong beginners” when they joined their policing teams. They also feel empowered to place strong value on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as 93 per cent of NGLP participants felt comfortable discussing diversity and inclusion with their colleagues. Additionally, 98 per cent disagree stereotypes about other groups are usually true, compared to 41 per cent in wider policing and 46 per cent of the general public.
The judges “loved” the NGLP/NDP initiative’s focus on “keeping leaders in the community and not in the classroom”, adding that this was a clear example of how to “integrate learning and work to make a difference”. They also said that it was an “impressive evidence formed process with excellent design”.