I have had my concerns about Police Now for some time, almost since their inception really.
You can call me a Conspiracy Theorist if you like (I’ve been called worse) but the whole thing has an air of joined up thinking between Police Now, the College of Policing, NPCC and the Home Office. Not one of the other three bodies is challenging the activities, or concept, of Police Now.
Why on earth did two serving Metropolitan Police Officers suddenly think that they could train recruits better than the established system? Why on earth did they limit THEIR recruits to high-scoring Graduates? I believe that this pre-dates the soon to be imposed Graduate Entry Scheme of the College, but I’m happy to be corrected on that. Finally, why on earth did they have to register as a charity? As an unintended(?) consequence it currently makes them immune to Freedom of Information Act requests.
I haven’t seen answers to any of the above yet. What does their entry at the Charities Commission tell us? What were they set up to achieve?
Sponsors or undertakes research. Anybody know of any Police Now sponsored research? On anything?
We know they provide training, but I’m still not sure why.
Armed Forces/Emergency Services efficiency? That just sounds like someone ‘bigging up’ the role they play in order to obtain charitable status. What do Police Now do for the Armed Forces? Ambo and Water Fairies? Anyone?
So who does benefit from Police Now activities?
The General Public and Mankind? Is it only me who finds that both flippant and incredibly arrogant at the same time? Can anyone give me an example of where Police Now has benefited the General Public and Mankind please? There must be at least one example.
Next on my list of things to look at was MONEY. How are they funded? What sort of size is their budget?
As we can see their income for the 2017/18 year was £6.4 Million pounds and their expenditure was £4.7 Million. Why, oh why, do they need to retain just short of 1/3 of their income in their account unspent? £1.7 Million, just sitting there.
What do they do with all this money?
Oh good, they’re going to transform communities and reduce crime. The Police Service is losing that battle largely due to Theresa May’s cuts, but somehow the (relatively) small number of Police Now trained officers will achieve what the majority have failed to do for a few years now.
Where are they doing these fine works?
England. No Wales, no Scotland, no Northern Ireland. I do find that a bit unfair, but at the same time intriguing. I shall return to that point later. I do get my brain cells a little confused from time-to-time though. In the December 2018 Police Budget settlement “there is also £3.5 million for Police Now, a graduate recruitment and training programme “. The Home Office is responsible for the Police Service of England and Wales, but up till now Police Now have been ignoring Wales. Are Welsh forces being disadvantaged, unable to recruit any of the new generation of super-cops trained by Police Now? More later.
At this point I would like to make it quite clear that I am not criticising the recruits that Police Now are training or have trained. They are individuals who want to join the Police and have chosen the route that appeals to them most. Can’t knock them for that.
What does irk me though is the whole ‘language’ that has developed around Police Now and the College. Only a few days ago we were treated to this;
Is this really how PCs talk these days? If it is then I truly have missed something, somewhere.
With a starting salary in the region of £20k, not great for a Graduate to be honest, the scheme entices applicants with attractions such as
The detective training programme lasts for two years, starting with a 12 week Detective Academy in September 2019. You’ll continue field training alongside qualified officers and once you successfully finish the programme and your two year probation period (which is standard for all newly joining constables to the police) you will be a Detective Constable (rather than a Trainee Detective Constable).
I don’t know what the standard length is these days but my Initial Training at Hendon was for 16 weeks, and I would never pretend that I was fully equipped at that stage.
To enrol you must
have achieved a 1st – 2:2 at undergraduate degree level or non-UK equivalent and a minimum of 2 years’ post graduation work experience
have received a GCSE grade C or above in English language and be fluent in the written and spoken word
be a Welsh-speaker or be prepared to achieve Level 2 Welsh by September 2020
I’m not quite certain how many Welsh-speaking Graduates they will find to apply, but the successful candidates can look forward to a training programme that includes a 12 Week Detective Academy. I have spoken to Bronwen’s boyfriend Rodney, who has served in one of the larger Welsh Forces for over 20 years, and he is not required to speak Welsh, and gets by perfectly well without it.
The Detective Academy starts in September and is an intensive twelve week residential training programme designed and delivered by outstanding and high performing detectives. It includes seven weeks of classroom learning, one week of personal safety and physical training and four weeks of field training in force. There are rest weeks during and after the Academy. You will be required to pass the National Investigators Exam (NIE) in November and the Academy finishes in December.
They will then be unleashed into the real world with training that looks like this
Throughout the programme you will typically undertake three postings. Each posting will last between five to nine months and take place in Main Office CID (serious crime), Safeguarding and Proactive teams. The combination of rotations will ensure you are capable of investigating serious and complex crime from the fifteenth month point, which traditionally takes a minimum of two years via alternative routes.
Yes, I am biased. I admit it. I am one of those dinosaurs your trainers warn you about. But really, if this is ‘the future’ I’m glad to be out, and I’m quite certain that the establishment is glad that I’m out too. I am obviously thick as mince. There is no way I would have been capable of investigating murders at 15 months service. I joined the Crime Squad with just over 2 years, and I have never learnt so quickly.
Ye Gods. At the 15 month point they will be capable of investigating Murder, Terrorism, complex Frauds, Rape and Indecent Assaults. This is obviously how Police Now are benefitting the General Public and Mankind, sending them Detectives infinitely superior to those previously available. They will be capable of putting together proactive operations against Organised Crime Gangs, with all the pitfalls that entails.
My conclusion is, and I apologise to Mankind, TJF.