Met builds local links with skills database

The Metropolitan Police Service has set up a database of staff ‘life
skills’. Detectives can draw upon them to assist with investigations or resolve
serious incidents.

The database will help develop a pool of people who could help the force to
investigate crimes in diverse communities or in the general policing of the
capital.

The Met hopes the scheme will also help build trust and confidence between
the police and London’s communities by using the cultural knowledge and
language skills of staff, who are themselves part of the wider community.

The scheme was first piloted among police officers a year ago, but has now
been expanded to cover civilian staff to create a wider talent pool.

The Cultural and Communities Resource Unit (CCRU) will register the
additional workers, although they will not be deployed in the same way as
officers, because of the different type of skills they possess.

Detective chief inspector Keith Fraser, head of the CCRU, said: "This
is an extremely exciting time. We have already had interest from police staff
who wanted to be part of the database so we know that people with a real
variety of skills are part of our wider staff and want to participate."

The concept was first used during the investigations of the Soho nail
bombing and the murder of Damilola Taylor. Gay and black officers helped to
build vital links with their respective communities to further police
enquiries.

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