It is clear that the police service has to stay current; modern, with traditional values I would call it. With the change in century, so do crimes, and with it, the police service, its people and the way it functions.
Traditionally, policing ran through families and remained that way, but in this day and age, the modern police service has attracted new generations of individual.With this comes new experiences, knowledge and skills. It is unlikely that you would have come across as bi-lingual, or even a minority officer around 20-30 years ago. Now, there are officers coming from all walks of life – this is part of the changing face of policing.
Some people may argue that the traditional White British beat bobby has long gone, now, we also cater for the needs of our communities, with approximately 30% coming from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) background – this is the changing face to our communities.
Police Now, fast track and direct entry are all new ways of attracting key people who can change the police service and bring it through to the modern era with new skill sets but keeping in mind traditional values like the Peel principles. Who would have ever thought that a supervisor, manager or even an individuals with no policing experienced or knowledge could come in and make a difference in society? It’s happening. It’s out there. Some people may disagree, but you have to give it a chance. This is the only way policing will keep up with modern day society.
In this day and age, policing is competing with other careers. Take a look at Police Now, a graduate programme. Note, not a fast track programme. This is the type of career which is challenging people to make a difference in communities; something which other grad schemes cannot do. The likes of KPMG, PwC, Teach First cannot compare to the life of a police officer and their day to day activities.
We are now preventative, not reactive. More so predictive, and little proactive. I very much doubt this is down to a policing agenda set out by each Chief because they want it that way, but more so due to the lack of funding and the new social responsibility cops now take on with partner agencies.
This is the changing face of policing. Body Worn Camera’s, Personal Protective Equipment suited to the needs and role of a constable, new technology, a new generation of officers with an array of skills and qualities. This is the changing face of policing.