Uplift to target younger audience with social media campaign

Government plans to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers by March 2023 entered a new phase today with the launch of an advertising campaign that aims to target a younger, more engaged audience.

Jan 10, 2022
By Tony Thompson

Two new adverts – featuring serving police officers from different backgrounds already protecting their communities – will air on television and in cinemas, as well as, for the first time, YouTube and Reddit.

The 11,053 additional officers to date have enabled police forces to set up new units tackling crime and protecting vulnerable people – including supporting those who have suffered rape and sexual assault. They have also helped create the most diverse police force in history, which is more able to effectively serve communities across England and Wales.

Chief Inspector Matthew Burbeck from Kent Police was part of the team that caught a gang importing millions of pounds of drugs, while Police Constable Lola Giwa from Greater Manchester Police has helped to protect vulnerable people and make sure violent criminals are put behind bars.

PC Giwa was inspired to join the force after being impressed with the way the police helped her son who was being bullied at school. She said: “We were treated with respect and compassion, and the officer was persistent and effective, and I thought, ‘yes, I can do the same thing’ and give back to my community and protect the most vulnerable people in society.

“We need representation from every background in the police that will help bridge the gap between police and those communities and I encourage people to join. It is actually the best job you can ever think of, and I’m not sugar coating it.”

Chief Insp Burbeck was inspired to join the force after working in military intelligence and helped secure the prosecution of a drugs gang importing millions of pounds worth of drugs.

He said: “Every single day police officers change someone’s life and there are not many jobs where you can say that. You never know what is around the corner – in the same day you can go from working on a domestic violence case, to attending a violent incident, to working on a drugs bust.

“You are dealing with people who are often having the worst day in their lives, so you develop people skills, as well as technical investigation skills.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Officers like PC Giwa and Chief Insp Burbeck are already out there making a difference – taking drugs off our streets and protecting victims of awful crimes like domestic abuse, while helping to make our communities safer.

“As we continue to deliver on that promise to increase police numbers, anyone with a drive and passion to serve their community and fight crime should consider following their example and joining up as part of this new generation of brave police officers.”

Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, said: “The police workforce is changing – more women are now working as officers in England and Wales than ever before and the number of police officers from ethnic minorities is the highest on record – and we want to see police forces becoming even more representative of the communities they serve.”

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