A group of south London teenagers are taking part in an innovative new internship-style programme with police officers and staff from the Metropolitan police that aims to encourage young people from under-represented communities to consider a career in policing.
The ‘Elevated Aspirations’ programme involves 13 weeks of special mentoring from top black professionals in the criminal justice field, two weeks of work experience across a wide range of different Met units, and regular personal development coaching from professionals from that sector.
The cohort of 18 male and female teenagers, who are all aged 17 and in their first year in the sixth form at St Thomas the Apostle School and Sixth Form College in Nunhead, have just completed the work placements at the Met that enabled them gain a valuable insight into the varied experiences of different Met officers and staff.
The whistle-stop tour of the organisation included sessions with firearms, forensics, the marine unit, the Territorial Support Group, Taskforce, custody and the 999 calls control centre. They also got the chance to handle specialist equipment, try on kit, take part in role-plays on stop and search, shadow detectives on an investigation, and visit the courts at Inner London Crown Court.
The programme is a joint initiative from the long-serving Met schools officer PC Nsikan Etuk, educational consultant Doreen Sinclair-McCollins and ex-Met borough commander Victor Olisa.
It aims to contribute to enhanced public service, trust and confidence through generating legitimacy for the Met and finding new ways for it to engage with minority communities.