A new police course aimed at educating current and prospective Special Constables to degree level has made arresting developments.
Dr Julie Adams-Guppy was this week unveiled as senior lecturer for the first BA (Hons) Policing undergraduate degree at Wrexham Glyndwr University.
The University is currently recruiting for the new degree, which launches in September 2017.
Dr Adams-Guppy, who is a Special Constable herself, says she is looking forward to overseeing students and engaging them in learning through seminars, workshops and accompanied patrols with experienced officers.
The course will also look at role playing different scenarios faced by officers, including dealing with people in custody, interviewing and stop and search.
Having lectured at universities across the UK and receiving a degree in Law from Oxford University, Dr Adams-Guppy is ready for the challenge.
“It’s an exciting time to be launching this new course, and I’m thrilled to be here at the very start of it,” she said.
“It’s going to be a balance of practical, vocational and taught learning, as well as work experience out on the streets, not just in the lecture theatre.
“The degree is a great platform for officers to go forward into the workplace and further develop, or start to develop, their careers.”
Dr Iolo Madoc-Jones, a Reader in Social and Criminal Justice at the University, said current Special Constables interested in joining the course should not be put off by the university setting.
“This degree is as much about recognising the learning police staff already have to do, and the skills they come to possess, as much as it is about teaching them new things,” he said.
“There is no guarantee of a job as a regular constable at the end, but this full and part time programme will make students knowledgeable about policing activities and in a good position to apply for relevant roles”
“It’s a Welsh programme for a Welsh force so we’re looking forward to building on what is already a strong relationship with North Wales Police.
Plans for all police staff to be educated to degree level were drawn-up by the College of Policing, which is responsible for setting training standards for the service.
The College’s Chief Constable, Alex Marshall, said there was currently not enough investment in training new officers, and only 38% of those entering the police arena have a degree or postgraduate qualification.
Mark Owen, Chief Officer for the North Wales Police Special Constabulary, congratulated the University on launching the degree.
“Policing has changed so much over the years, there are different challenges and a more modern outlook on crime and other incident types and how to tackle it is required,” he said.
“The fact this is not a purely class-based degree – it will be a blended balance of practical and academic – makes it a more attractive prospect which develops the careers of current Special Constable and prospective paid police officers.”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones was in agreement and said officers must be given the tools to cope with advances in crime.
“I wish Wrexham Glyndwr University well with their new degree course,” he said.
“In addition to having the right personal qualities, it is important that we equip our officers with the right skills to the job in an increasingly complex world.
“While officers need be streetwise, knowing where crime goes on and how to react, a great deal more training is required these days because policing is changing so much.”
“I am particularly pleased the degree course is based within North Wales and Wrexham Glyndwr University are aiming to recruit candidates from the communities served by North Wales Police.”
For more information, visit the Wrexham Glyndwr University website or call the enquiries line on 01978 293439. Visit the University’s open day on August 19 from 10am-2pm.