The first of hundreds of new degree level police officers for Hampshire receive their warrant cards
Ninety-one new police officers have been enrolled on both the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) and Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) this week, the start of the biggest change in decades to police training in Hampshire.
The two programmes mark a radical change to the training of new recruits. Officers will learn on the job and in the classroom, with their training and education being co-delivered by Hampshire Constabulary and the University of Portsmouth as part of the Police Education Consortium.
During the next three years it is expected the new courses will deliver hundreds of new police officers for Hampshire. The Police Education Consortium is formed by the partnership of four universities - Portsmouth, Middlesex, Canterbury Christ Church and Cumbria – all with top tier police education expertise. The consortium has a contract to deliver the PCDA and DHEP with three forces – Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. The universities will alternate as the providers for each new cohort.
Officers enrolling this week have all joined Hampshire Constabulary and will join teams across the force in ten weeks’ time. The new recruits will participate in a number of masterclasses, as well as supported online learning, which will be facilitated by Hampshire Constabulary and the University of Portsmouth. However, the new programmes emphasise the benefits of on-the-job learning, meaning student officers will spend most of their time as operational police officers.
The new programmes are the biggest development in police training for decades.
Julian Parker-McLeod, from the Institute of Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth, said: “the new programmes are the biggest development in police training for decades. The world has changed and the police service faces both new and evolving crimes that are often challenging and complex. Social media, cybercrime, and organised crime are just some of the new phenomenon we've seen grow in recent years. The nature of crime has changed and so must the skills required of the workforce.”
Assistant Chief Constable, Craig Dibdin, Hampshire Constabulary said: “We are extremely excited to welcome these 91 new recruits to the force, as part of our continued uplift programme. This is the first group to join as part of the new nationally approved Police Educational Qualification Framework (PEQF). It is a significant change to the way we recruit, train and develop our people, and how we deliver the uplift of officers across our communities, allowing for larger intake groups.
“These new degree courses developed in collaboration with us will equip our police officers with the skills needed to meet the challenges we face policing in a complex and rapidly changing world. Blending together the experience that we already have within force with so much enthusiasm, greater diversity, and so many new ideas and approaches can only help deliver the safer communities that we are all working together to achieve."