THE scale of anti-social behaviour in Warrington town centre is down 78 per cent thanks to a project led by a chef turned police officer.

PC Juliet Taylor has led a successful community policing project over the past seven months after becoming the dedicated ASB communities beat manager for the town centre.

She studied geology and physical geography at the University of Liverpool, graduating in 2019, before going on to work as a pastry chef at two Michelin Star restaurants.

However, Juliet decided to make a career change and joined Cheshire Police in 2022 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, which supports talented graduates to excel as neighbourhood officers on the policing frontline.

She then hosted a community engagement event where people could voice their concerns, leading to the investigation of key hotspots to gather evidence.

This led to the creation of a problem-oriented policing plan to tackle the issues, with great success.

“We deployed a number of extra security measures across the town centre to make it more difficult for youth to engage in ASB and criminality,” Juliet said.

“This included closing certain spaces off, working with businesses to set up banning orders and conditions of entry, and taking small but effective steps such as turning the wi-fi off in hotspot areas at key times.

“Businesses are able to safely enforce these rules themselves to help manage and reduce ASB, which is sustainable and helps free up police resource to pursue criminality in the area.

PC Juliet Taylor was formerly a pastry chef

PC Juliet Taylor was formerly a pastry chef

“We identified the top five perpetrators in the town centre, whose behaviour had escalated beyond ASB into criminality and who had not adhered to existing conditions placed upon them.

“We toughened our response to them and focused on enforcement measures including making arrests and issuing dispersal orders.

“We saw the knock-on effect of disrupting these key leaders, with large groups of perpetrators being dispersed and a reduction in ASB reports from our main hotspots as a result.”

Juliet says young lower-level perpetrators whose behaviour had not yet escalated into more serious offences are working with organisations including Warrington Youth Zone to become more productive.

The aim is to give them opportunities to make better choices and ensure they do not get drawn into a cycle of escalating criminality, which helps to reduce crime and ASB in the long-term.

“Although we know there are ongoing issues, particularly during seasonal periods such as summer and Christmas holidays, this approach has greatly helped us manage and reduce ASB in the town centre,” she added.

Juliet previously said that she first thought about joining the police while a teenager, when she and her sister witnessed someone crash into their parked car outside their house.

“A police officer came to our address to take a witness statement, and my dad could not remember a thing.

“I am naturally a very observant person and I remembered it all, down to what the driver had been wearing, so I provided the police with the information they needed to catch the offender.

PC Juliet Taylor on the beat in Warrington town centre with John Dwyer, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire

PC Juliet Taylor on the beat in Warrington town centre with John Dwyer, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire

“It turned out he was an uninsured driver, and the sense of accomplishment I felt at providing evidence and helping to apprehend a dangerous driver made me want to be a part of the police service myself.”

Juliet said she also really loves cooking, and especially did a lot of it during the Covid lockdowns, even starting her own Instagram food account.

When a Michelin Star chef reopened a restaurant near where she lived, she decided to apply and was offered a position at Moor Hall – voted best restaurant in the UK two years running – and at another Michelin Star restaurant after that.

“I became a pastry chef at the restaurant, but I had not forgotten about my initial ambitions to join the police service,” she continued.

“Although I love cooking, it was not really what I wanted to do with my life, and when I went out to dinner with a friend and her fiancé, who is a police officer in Manchester, we got to talking.

“It really reignited that spark in me and reminded me why I had wanted to join the service to begin with – so I could make a real difference in society.

“By pure coincidence, that same day I saw an advert for Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme.

“I thought ‘what do I have to lose by putting an application in?’ – and the rest is history.”