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Conference 2017 | 'Degrees will help police rise to future challenges'

Policing needs to be able to rise to the challenges of the future - and police degrees are the way to achieve that, Brandon Lewis told the Police Federation Annual Conference.

The Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service told the conference in Birmingham: "The police officer in any community-based meeting is often the only person in the room whose profession doesn't requires a degree-level qualification.

"And yet that police officer is often chairing or leading that partnership meeting."

He added: "To those who say this isn't a graduate job, I would say that policing needs to be able to rise to the challenges of the future. And the Police Education and Qualification Framework aims to give officers access to the knowledge and skills they need to succeed and to fight crime."

The College of Policing has also said that all entrants to the service must be educated to degree-level in the future.

Reiterating the Conservative Party's backing of graduate qualifications for police officers, Mr Lewis added: "Graduate-level skills and attributes are already being demonstrated on a daily basis by members of service up and down the country and that will become increasingly important.

"It is not about one size fits all; it is great to see a variety of entry routes into policing as a career. But there is more to do - whether as a rejoining policing degree or graduate recruit or on the completion of a graduate apprenticeship, these aren't just about getting people with degrees into policing, they are about making sure you are given the skills to do the job in the 21st century."

Meanwhile, Labour's Yvette Cooper said apprenticeships should be introduced into policing to ensure the service truly reflects the public it serves.

She said: "I welcome the work of the College of Policing and we need training throughout police officers' careers. But I think it would be a shameful narrowing if policing only took from those who had already done a graduate degree.

"I think we should have an apprenticeship for policing as a new route in whatever people's backgrounds to make sure it reflects the skills and talents of the whole country and population."


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