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Be The Difference

Home Office

The challenge

In July 2019, the Prime Minister confirmed a manifesto pledge to recruit 20,000 additional police officers by March 2023, with a focus on recruiting from underrepresented communities. Insight showed that marginalised groups were less likely to consider a career in policing due to beliefs that the police may be unable to adapt to religious requirements, or that institutional race and gender discrimination would be an issue. Police forces across the country should reflect the communities they serve, so our campaign had to challenge those misconceptions.

Our solution

We produced a video series showcasing the real stories of police officers from diverse backgrounds to dispel myths and reach minority communities. We worked with eight police associations to find our subjects, including Sikh, Jewish, Christian, black, disabled, autistic, LGBT+ and women. We held discovery calls with each officer to get to know them and build trust, leading to a video tailored to their unique story. To break down misconceptions, we knew we had to be empathetic and realistic – not shying away from the difficulties that officers can face.

Project summary

Home Office
Recruit 20,000 new police officers by 2023 and increase the number of applications from minority groups
Communities currently underrepresented in policing, including ethnic and religious minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, and women
8 long-form case study videos, social media videos and statics, partner support packs
Bronze winner in the DCA Awards

The result

  • The campaign was a huge success, helping the government reach its target of 20,000 additional police officers by March 2023.
  • The number of police officers is now over 150,000, more than 3,500 higher than the last peak in 2010. Police forces are also now more diverse.
  • There are now over 53,000 female officers (35.5% of the total force) and over 12,000 officers from an ethnic minority background (8.3% of the total force). Both of these numbers are a record high.

Great work starts with a conversation

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