Applications for Police Now open on October 15, with 50 places in London and salaries of £28,500
50 vacancies for dedicated ward officers
Detective Inspector Garnett wants to attract more graduates like her to the police. Last year she and her colleague Detective Inspector Dave Spencer together dreamt up an initiative called Police Now (though he credits her with the pinging lightbulb moment).
The scheme is inspired by Teach First, the educational initiative that puts top graduates into schools in deprived areas and which Garnett’s mother, Dame Julia Cleverdon, once chaired. Applications for Police Now open on October 15, with 50 places in London and salaries of £28,500.
Police Now is open to those with a 2:1 in any subject who meet all the usual eyesight, age, fitness and health requirements. They don’t just want recent graduates; they are happy to take “double bouncers” from other careers.
Those chosen will initially sign up for a two-year stint in uniform, later deciding whether to stay or try another career. “The average graduate job is 2.6 years,” notes Garnett. “The 35-year career that we once offered is not going to suit everybody.”
Each graduate on the scheme will be assigned a specific ward where they will be the main responsible officer. The day-to-day work will vary according to the needs of the patch, but it will be on the frontline as a community officer.
“You can see a problem and deal with it from beginning to end,” PC Panton, 35, tells me. “Because you are front-line you can see your positive impact. You are working in the neighbourhood, speaking to the community. They’re the ones who will ultimately judge you on your performance. You’re responsible for 5,000 or 10,000 residents. You’re not just an officer in uniform — you’re a personality.”