A few weeks ago, a Twitter debate raged on the subject of whether it was necessary for all police officers to be degree educated. It has been proposed by the College of Policing that, in order to “professionalise” the police, it is desirable (and, therefore, likely to happen) that any new recruit will be required to undertake a Batchelor’s degree in policing.
At present, it is not clear what that will look like but the best guess is that it will actually be combining all existing foundation training and calling it a degree. Purists argue that this is not a degree at all as it does not test critical thinking and there is no dissertation. Others see it as the gateway to a future of officers who will act and think differently.
Let me be clear from the start. I am not an academic, I do not like formalised studying, I do not have a degree and I have resisted at least three opportunities to study for one at someone else’s expense. The main reason being that I simply haven’t seen the point in obtaining one. This doesn’t mean I am “anti-degree” nor does it mean that I do not recognise the many benefits of higher education and lifelong learning.
Over the last few days it has even been suggested that I resent students because they are fast-tracked for promotion ahead of me. Given that I made the rank of Inspector in seven years and was accepted on to the High Potential Development Scheme as a sergeant without a degree then I steadfastly refute that accusation.
In the last two weeks, @RichardJGarside director of an “independent public interest charity” called The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has penned two articles about police reform for The Guardian.
The central thrust of Mr Garside’s articles is that lowering the police budget will lead to more balance in the public sector and that slashing the police budget will stop police officers doing other people’s jobs.
I am absolutely delighted to host this blog from public relations advisor and fundraiser Gemma Pettman.
Gemma has previously worked within police corporate communications and a large police charity, but now runs her own company helping charities to raise their profile and increase their income.
Gemma has very kindly given the Red Button Project the benefit of her experience and offers her view on how the police might better communicate with the public at a time when it seems they can’t do anything right.
A Home Office commissioned report has today said that about a quarter of a million vulnerable people are not receiving the support of an “appropriate adult” while in police custody.
A few months ago, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary published their report on “The Welfare Of Vulnerable People In Custody” which made clear the distance still to travel in terms of how police manage the vulnerable in their care. I blogged about this at the time in a missive called One Size Fits All. The point of the title was to draw attention to the fact that custody suites are designed to be generic buildings with little to no provision for anyone with any form of vulnerability. A cell is a cell is a cell.