COMMUNITY AMBASSADORS PROGRAMME
In 2014, the Community Ambassador Programme (CAP) aimed to attract the most talented BME and female candidates to become police officers in the 12 most diverse boroughs as defined by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
By leveraging and enhancing confidence and outreach activities under the Community Ambassador Programme (CAP) banner, local boroughs would better connect with the communities they serve and improve the appeal of a career in policing amongst London’s most diverse and passive communities.
Local community leaders and advocates were encouraged to act as ambassadors on behalf of the MPS to:-
Dispel myths about a career as a police officer
Improve engagement and confidence
The Community Ambassador Programme (CAP) supported existing recruitment campaigns in order to create a police service that looks and feels more like the city it serves.
London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and as a capital city, presents an extremely complex policing challenge.
London must be policed in a way that reinforces cohesion of its diverse communities – adhering to the founding principles laid down by Robert Peel that ‘the police are the public and the public are the police’.
It is vital that London’s constables possess the knowledge, understanding and diversity of talent to police the capital.
Successful policing is dependent on the trust and confidence of communities and this requires the MPS to reflect the city it serves, drawing its recruits from among London’s diverse communities and allowing anyone to join and rise up the ranks based on merit - irrespective of background.
Currently only around 11% of MPS police officers are from a BME background despite recent census data showing that more than 40% of London’s population declared themselves as BME.
Similarly, whilst women make up half of all Londoners only a quarter of MPS officers are female.
While progress has been made there is clearly still a long way to go.
The MPS is the midst of a recruitment drive and this is the perfect opportunity to launch the Community Ambassador Programme (CAP) and increase the numbers of BME officers recruited.
The Community Ambassador Programme (CAP) was not a “policy rich, implement poor” strategy. It was a dynamic, visionary but structured approach to recruiting ambassadors, resulting in the development of a viable pipeline of talented candidates with added knowledge, skills and the required competencies to become MPS Police Officers of the future.
Trained Ambassadors would serve as a front-line recruitment resource between the police and the local community by turning their drive and passion into advocates for careers within the MPS.
By focusing on the “big idea” the programme was designed to harness talent, increase capacity and build on their ambition to develop and diversify the MPS pipeline.
Therefore, local engagement and outreach was key to the success of the programme.
Local ambassadors supported initiatives by leveraging their ideas, perspectives, skills and knowledge of key personalities, networks, faith groups, professional and third-sector organisations to help raise awareness, stimulate action and increase applications from the wider BME community to the MPS over a 24-month period and beyond.