Rare - Police Now Partnership
Police Now's mission is to transform communities, reduce crime and increase public confidence in policing. Increasing diversity is a top priority given to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) under-representation in the police and persistent stereotypes, and Police Now believes it cannot deliver if incoming officers do not represent the public it aims to protect.
The Rare-Police Now partnership began in October 2015 and is aimed at increasing diversity on the Police Now Graduate Programme. The primary challenges are raising awareness of the programme amongst BAME students and addressing students' views that the police force did not represent them or their communities' interests.
Rare and Police Now conducted extensive outreach work to attract high-achieving BAME undergraduates to the programme, including contacting 18 African and Caribbean societies and 16 university careers services. Interactive workshops were held at five universities with 34 students, and Rare and Police Now attended careers fairs at two London universities.
Rare informed over 150 candidates of the programme via in-person initial meetings, which found l interest was lower than expected. This led to a widened approach where over 700 phone calls were made to eligible candidates to raise awareness and encourage candidates to consider Police Now.
Rare and Police Now also worked together to improve Police Now's assessment processes. Rare conducted an in-depth review of the language, content and structure of all Police Now assessment materials to ensure they were not to the detriment of BAME students. This included reviewing the situational judgement test, making recommendations and highlighting areas of improvement. Bespoke intensive one-to-one coaching sessions were also offered to 40 candidates ahead of their assessment centre.
Police Now's Co-Founder and Programme Director and Rare's Managing Director worked closely to ensure Police Now got the most from the partnership, including sourcing targets, universities to contact and outreach activity. Rare also provided weekly updates on candidates to Police Now, enabling Police Now to track and monitor candidates' progress.
- 16 BAME candidates gained a place on the Police Now Graduate Programme and 20% of the current Police Now cohort is now BAME (compared to 16% in the previous year). This demonstrates the positive impact of coaching on candidates, particularly in advance of assessment centres.
- The success of the partnership means it will be taken forward. This includes developing future Police Now assessment processes and the creation of a mock assessment centre which will be used to create and improve coaching materials. Candidates' performance by ethnic group is closely monitored and, along with feedback from candidates, will be used to enhance the programme in future.
- Rare has recommended first and second-year students to Police Now and will follow up with them to maintain their interest in the programme. Police Now will also consider how they can develop programmes for students in their early university careers to attract high-achieving BAME candidates, such as Insight Days.