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Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

When Yanique Bailey first applied to join the Metropolitan Police Service in 2017, she thought she knew most of the challenges she would face.

What she didn’t expect was a London with far fewer people on the streets and having to remind herself to stand two metres away from her new colleagues whenever possible. 

“It’s obviously not what we thought things would look like when we came out of training school,” she said.

“At the moment, we don’t really know any different – this is the only London we have policed! But it’s a learning curve for everyone, not just us.

“We are really trying our best to make sure the public follow the rules and guidelines and are only leaving the house when necessary, and so far most people I’ve spoken to have been very understanding and co-operative.

“In reality, a lot of what we are doing is exactly what we trained for and what we will always do – talking to the public and engaging with them – and I already feel like I’ve learnt so much in just three weeks.”

Like Yanique, just over 300 recruits joined their new command units on Monday, 6 April and have now spent almost a month out in their communities, supervised by some of the Met’s most experienced officers. 

Earlier this year, two probationers on street duties were on patrol with three experienced constables on Great West Road in Hounslow when a passenger in a taxi came to their attention.

The officers signalled for the vehicle to stop and detained the passenger as he attempted to make off on foot.

Following a search, he was found to be in possession of a firearm and a quantity of cash and drugs and was arrested.

Commander Helen Millichap, said: “There is no denying that the London our newest officers are now policing looks very different to what they would have expected when they applied for the job, but it is clear that our recruits are playing a more vital role than ever in keeping our communities safe.

“I know they are extremely proud to be doing their bit in maintaining our visibility on the streets, engaging with the public and responding to calls for assistance where necessary.”

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