At Principle One we pride ourselves on working in partnership with our law enforcement customers – and this goes beyond our customer delivery work. Many of our employees who have worked on the front line of policing themselves before joining us and their experiences and commitment to giving back are front and centre in our partnership approach.
Ed Walton joined Principle One in February, after three and a half years of service as a police officer in Sussex. This experience gave him the opportunity to understand and appreciate how challenging it is to be a police officer today, particularly on the front line. Whilst the public is made aware of the dangers of policing and the traumatic incidents they are required to attend, they are less likely to know the reality of the continuous grind that modern policing has become and the impact it has on both the officers and their loved ones. A combination of long and often unsociable hours, demanding workload and responsibility for handling high risk situations and decision making has made the role exhausting for many officers. These pressures result in officers burning out and struggling with their mental and physical health.
Despite this, policing is an enormously rewarding career, with many remaining committed to the job for many years. “The pressures of the job can wind you so tight that sometimes only the smallest push can knock you over the edge, and every now and then the job will give you an almighty shove.” says Ed. “This played its part in my decision to leave, but one thing that gave me pause and caused me to delay my exit was the people. Time and time again I saw my colleagues go the extra mile for someone they had never met; not for reward, not for recognition, just simply because they care.” Given the nature of the job, it’s crucial that police officers receive the mental health support they need to do their jobs and look after those around them, whilst also knowing how to take care of themselves.
Police Care is a charity focused on helping serving and veteran police officers and staff, as well as their families, who have experienced either physical or psychological harm as a result of policing. They not only provide practical, emotional, and financial support that is confidential, independent and accessible but they also work with police forces to help understand the struggles of their officers and to prevent harm in the first place. Principle One’s partnership with Police Care is our longest standing partnership, and we have offered pro bono consulting support as well as committing to funding across a range of events each year. The most recent of these was the ASICS London 10K race on the 10th July 2022, which eight members of the Principle One team took part in.
Race day itself approached far more quickly than expected, with members of our team squeezing in lunch time runs and training sessions in the evenings. However, they all made it round the course, with times that everyone could be proud of given the conditions. Even more pride came from the achievement of raising over £2500 for Police Care from friends, family and colleagues. After meeting at the finish line, a trip to the pub and a well-deserved cold pint topped off a very sweaty but enjoyable day.
One member of the team, Dale Guildea, worked for the Metropolitan Police as a neighbourhood police officer before joining Principle One. "Principle One recognises the incredible work done by front line police officers and the excellent support provided by Police Care. As an ex-police officer, seeing these organisations work closely together support individuals who feel they have nowhere else to turn shows an appreciation of the reality of modern-day policing and respect for the strains it places on individuals” he said. “Having previously run a half marathon in support of Police Care and finding it one of the worst experiences of my life to date, I was fairly reluctant to take on 10k in 30 degree heat, but the lure of rocking my Police Care emblazed running jersey and a bit of peer pressure was too much to resist and I was extremely proud to trudge the streets of London with my colleagues."
Summarising the experience, Ed said “Anyone that knows me knows I hate running so you can imagine my dismay on my first day at Principle One, when I was asked if I wanted to run a 10K for charity with my new colleagues. However, the fact that it was raising money for Police Care not only meant the answer was yes, but also confirmed that I had joined a company whose values matched my own.” As Principle One continues to grow as a company, we are committed to ensuring our values and priorities continue to align with our early motivations for to support our law enforcement customers however we could. Our partnerships are at the heart of this, allowing us to give back to the communities we work with and remind ourselves that solutions to problems go far beyond the delivery of a technical solution or a programme of business change. By listening to those who are fully immersed in the sector we work on, we can continue to develop our understanding and approaches to our projects and partnerships, helping us contribute to long lasting, impactful change.