Thursday, October 6, 2022

Police Now academy: Sasskia Roberts begins her training to become a neighbourhood police officer

SASSKIA Roberts launched her career as a neighbourhood police officer last week, as one of 148 new officers on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme.

Sasskia graduated from Birmingham City University in 2019 and then worked at a care home for young children and a secondary school for children with additional needs, before fulfilling her ambition to join the police service. Sasskia will be joining Essex Police via the programme and is sharing her experience of Police Now’s academy as she develops the core knowledge and skills required of a modern police constable. Today, she tells us about her journey into policing, how her family reacted to her joining the service, and what her first week at the academy has been like.

Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme begins with a seven-week training academy, before participants are deployed into their respective police forces across the country for the remainder of the two-year programme.

They will work as neighbourhood police officers and, alongside experienced colleagues, work to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, tackle complex issues within their communities, and improve public confidence in the police service. Participants also work towards their Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice, in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University.

Read Sasskia’s first blog post below.

Police Constable Sasskia Roberts

“I have always had an interest in the police, and I studied Criminology and Psychology at Birmingham City University, but not many people knew that I wanted to become a police officer. So when I secured my place on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme my family were quite surprised. They had some worries at first, mostly about whether I would get hurt on the job, but they’ve since been reassured and are now excited to see me launch my policing journey as a neighbourhood police officer.

“I am joining Essex Police, which will be quite a change as I grew up in Birmingham. I was born in Jamaica but I moved to Birmingham when I was very young. I am nervous but excited about the move to Essex, I think it will be a great opportunity to get to know a whole new area and community and start this new chapter of my life.

“Before securing a place on Police Now’s programme, I worked in retail for three years and then I moved into a care position at a care home for young children. Shortly after that, I spent some time working in a school for children with learning difficulties and children with autism who need extra support. I really enjoyed using and developing techniques to support people in that role and it’s partly this which attracts me to a career in neighbourhood policing; I know I will be able to work on long-term plans to support entire communities as well as individuals. By chance, the headteacher at the school was a former police officer and she gave me some advice for the role and encouraged me to go for it!

“I followed her advice, and now here I am – one week into my official training with Police Now. It’s been a lot to take in, but I’ve had support from my ‘Syndicate Lead’ (Police Now academy trainer) and the other officers in my group. I have enjoyed learning new skills this week, like how to caution someone correctly and how to lawfully make arrests and handle evidence. I personally enjoy the practical sessions, where we role play and put theory into practice.

“I am also enjoying developing my leadership skills, which I know will be a big focus of the rest of academy; it’s such a key part of being a frontline officer. Shortly after graduating university, I undertook a three day ‘Common Purpose Future Leaders’ course, which challenged us to think about different leadership skills and qualities and how to apply them. I really enjoyed that, so I’m excited to be applying and developing these skills further at academy. I am particularly looking forward to upcoming field training shifts when I will be interacting with the public for the first time as a police constable. I know it’s going to be challenging, but anything worth doing is.”

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