College pilots new training for neighbourhood policing

The College of Policing is piloting a new training programme to develop the knowledge and skills of neighbourhood policing teams.

Jun 12, 2024
By Paul Jacques

The college says the aim is to “professionalise this vital area of the service” and provide the public with local policing that listens to, and understands, their needs.

“Changes in crime patterns, technology, and expectations show that our communities are evolving,” the college said. “These changes mean that policing, in particular neighbourhood policing, needs to adapt to meet these complex new challenges.

“Police officers and police community support officers (PSCOs) working in neighbourhood teams play a crucial role in keeping communities safe. They are the voice of the community within wider policing and are critical in making the places where they live and work better.”

The new neighbourhood policing programme (NPP) will provide evidence-based learning for officers and staff, and aims to equip them with the specialist knowledge and skills required to:

  • Make communities safer;
  • Prevent crime and anti-social behaviour;
  • Solve local problems; and
  • Build and improve relationships with communities.

The training is a blend of online and classroom-based learning. Assessment for the training is based on the portfolio of evidence gathered during the training and on knowledge assessments. Those who are successful will become recognised specialists in this area.

The new evidence-based curriculum pilots in June with 11 forces from across England and Wales.

The pilot is made up of three modules:

  • Community engagement;
  • Problem-solving; and
  • Tackling anti-social behaviour.

The pilot runs until March 2025.

“We will then work with the pilot forces to identify and make any improvements to the training,” said the college. “If successful, it is anticipated the training will be rolled out to all Home Office forces from 2025.”

Police Now already runs a similar national neighbourhood policing training programme – the National Graduate Leadership, which launched in 2015. The two-year programme recruits, trains and develops neighbourhood police officers in partnership with forces across England and Wales.

On the programme, participants spend seven weeks at a residential training academy before landing in their forces, where they then spend approximately ten weeks on response units gaining frontline experience. They then join neighbourhood policing teams for the remainder of the programme.

During the two year programme, participants are supported to reach a number of training milestones including achieving Independent Patrol Status (IPS) and Full Operational Competence (FOC).

“With a focus on community impact, problem solving, demand reduction and leadership without rank, participants are supported to make an impact in their communities from day one of their career,” said Police Now.

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