University of Suffolk licensed to offer degree in Professional Policing
PUBLISHED: 16:39 22 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:03 22 December 2019
A new policing degree will help meet changing demand on the service, and could encourage a more representative workforce, according to course leaders.
The University of Suffolk will be one of two universities in the region, along with Anglia Ruskin, licensed to offer the new pre-join degree in Professional Policing.
At the end of 2016, the College of Policing announced a new qualification framework, with officers required to be educated to degree level from 2020.
The degree will be one of three entry routes into the service at the rank of constable, along with a postgraduate conversion course and a degree apprenticeship.
Training was launched in response to the changing nature of policing, including an increase in cyber crime and demand for the protection of vulnerable people.
Mark Manning, lecturer in criminology, called the degree a "great step forward for the university", alongside master's degrees in leadership and custodial environments, crime and community safety, and a foundation degree in youth justice with the Unitas Academy.
About 37% of Suffolk police's recruitment intake were graduates at this point last year.
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In July, the Police Federation of England and Wales raised doubts about the ability of some forces to implement changes.
Earlier this month, a bid by the Lincolnshire's Chief Constable for a judicial review on the merits of the framework was denied.
Mr Manning said the degree would prepare candidates for working in a service fit for the 21st century, while upholding the foundations of Sir Robert Peel's principles of policing.
"One of the complaints has been that it will disadvantage people from BME (black and minority ethnic) backgrounds, but evidence suggests they made up 15-20% of early applications in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire," he said.
As of the end of March, BME officers made up 3.05% of the workforce at Suffolk Constabulary.
Completion of the course will not guarantee employment - with recruits still required to complete operational competence training during a probationary period.
Mr Manning said course leaders will be careful to advise students to contact constabularies to find out other requirements like fitness and eyesight standards.
Modules will include introductions to criminal justice, understanding victimisation, and conducting investigations.