Northamptonshire Police will be one of the first forces in the country to adopt a new graduate programme when it takes on eight police officers in September.
Graduate programme Police Now is a two-year training programme designed to attract the best graduates into the police service.
The scheme was inspired by Teach First, the educational initiative which puts top graduates into schools in deprived areas and has been credited with dramatically improving the life chances of some of the most vulnerable children in society.
Each graduate police officer on the scheme is responsible for cutting crime and increasing public confidence in the police in a specific ward or area, and they will serve as a community officer in some of the toughest neighbourhoods in Northamptonshire.
Supt Chris Hillery, head of local policing for Northamptonshire Constabulary, said: “Northamptonshire is looking forward to bringing onboard the Police Now officers.
“We are confident that with their training and enthusiasm they will bring many positive contributions and make a real difference to the communities they serve.”
In its first year, Police Now was piloted by the Metropolitan Police in London - and the scheme has been extended to seven forces around the country, nearly doubling its graduate intake.
Northamptonshire Constabulary is one of the first forces nationally to take on graduates from the Police Now programme.
David Spencer, CEO and co-founder of Police Now, said: “We are delighted with the success of Police Now so far.
“In our second year, we have seen an 85 per cent increase in intake, and will have the opportunity to place top graduates in forces around the country, including in Northamptonshire Constabulary.
“These officers will make a big difference to their local communities.
“Our aim is for graduates to see policing as a prestigious career opportunity where you develop sought after skills, gain lots of real world experience and make a genuine difference to some of the most vulnerable people in society. “Whether our graduates go on to long careers in the police or other professions, they will remain strong ambassadors for their parent force and the wider police service.”
Chief Supt John Sutherland, programme director for Police Now, said: “Police Now is one of the most inspiring new ideas I’ve come across in my 24 years’ police service.
“Quite simply, it is about making a real and lasting difference in the places that need it most.
“I don’t happen to believe that every new police officer needs to have a degree - but I do think that, where we seek to bring graduates in, our ambition should be to recruit the very best.
“That’s exactly what Police Now has set out to do.”