From the front line to the College

A frontline officer seconded to the College describes her work.

A frontline officer seconded to the College of Policing is asking officers to think about what the Code of Ethics means to them.

Detective Sergeant Jade Hewitt, of Thames Valley Police, has been with the College since the beginning of February and was appointed to assist forces with embedding the code, published in 2014. She is one of more than 70 seconded officers working for the College.

In March, DS Hewitt won the Thames Valley Police's Office of the Year award for her work running two CID teams.

She said: "I've been in the police for 13 years and I have to say that I've loved every moment of it. Of course it's a stressful and busy job at times but I have this real passion for it, like I believe many officers do.

"I've done all sorts of roles – I spent my first few years on response before going on neighbourhood and becoming a schools officer. I really enjoyed that, it was so rewarding to identify those kids who were heading down the wrong road and put measures in place to help them."

Following several years on neighbourhood, Jade joined CID for a year before returning to community policing as an acting sergeant.

She said: "This was my favourite role so far – I worked with some amazing PCSOs and constables. It was important to me to establish ourselves in different communities and gain the trust of the public. We reduced burglary and violent crime in our area.

"After that, I went for a sergeant role in CID, where I ran two different teams. We were dealing with high-risk activities, like POLIT warrants, and working on burglary and robbery."

DS Hewitt, who is married to a firefighter and has two young daughters, saw an advert from the College looking for a frontline officer to join the Code of Ethics team on secondment.

"I thought, when have I ever had the chance to sit down and think about what the code means to me as a police officer?" she said. "Being on the front line means you're constantly on the go. Giving the public the best possible service and the opportunity to help forces across the UK with embedding the Code of Ethics in everyday business was too good to pass up."

During her time here, Jade was awarded Officer of the Year by Thames Valley Police for achieving reduction in crime in her area.

Since she joined, she has been visiting forces across the country to see the measures they have taken to implement the code.

She said: "It's been such a fantastic experience so far. When you're on the frontline, you're rightly focused completely on your area – so this has been a great chance to travel and see how things are done in other forces. I've been inspired by how different areas have taken to the Code of Ethics. This is why we do what we do – the College is there to protect and help the police service, which is there to protect and serve the public.

"We're really getting there – but there's still so much to do. Policing is undergoing a major cultural change and I think one area that will really benefit officers is making it easy for forces to share best practice. That's why I'm here and I've organised the Code of Ethics conference in June to bring all force leads together to see the great work that's been going on. My secondment finishes in June so it's as though my work has come full circle.

"When I think about what the code means to me, the principle I relate to most is the fairness principle – not only fairness to the public, but fairness to your staff. Ensuring everyone has a voice and feels able to challenge – doing the right thing, even when it's the hardest thing to do.

"The code is a whole range of things – it's everything we do in policing and it gives us all an opportunity to challenge ourselves about what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong. The majority of police officers already act in an extremely open, fair and ethical way and I'm so proud to be part of the service."

To get in touch with Jade about her work or to find out what you can do in your force, you can email jade.hewitt@college.pnn.police.uk or get involved on POLKA.

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