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Police training to change for all new officers to fight crime

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All officers in England and Wales will be trained to a newly required standard from next April
3 mins read
Police officers

New recruits will enter the police service in one of three ways from April next year, following a change in Police Regulations by the government.

The training is practical and new recruits will spend 75% of their time on the job. The updated courses cover traditional crime such as burglary, as well as how to:

  • combat fraud and online crime
  • become better operational leaders
  • maintain their resilience and wellbeing

The updated training is already offered by 42 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, but is being made mandatory from April next year.

Some forces have taken advantage of specific College of Policing schemes to attract recruits from practical professions onto the new training, such as from the armed forces.

The new routes into the service are:

  • becoming an apprentice where officers earn while they learn over a three-year period
  • obtaining a degree in policing and applying to a police force
  • studying for a graduate diploma in professional policing

The public rightly expect officers to be trained to the highest possible standards and our officers and staff deserve to have the very best training and preparation for one of the toughest jobs around.

The consistent roll out of the new training is a significant step forward for policing and the public. It will help sustain the benefits of the Police Uplift programme and provide consistency to help keep people safe across the country.

Like so many areas of life, crime and the demands policing faces have changed radically, and the training we provide officers needs to reflect this. We have listened to policing and the public to make sure the training helps officers tackle the core issues faced on the street, such as traditional crime like burglary, but also deal with more emerging crime types like fraud and online crime.

When I joined policing more than 30 years ago there was an emphasis was on personal courage, vocation, and commitment, and that has not changed. We need those qualities just as much today, but they need to be built on with sophisticated training to protect the public and bring offenders to justice.

I want to thank all those who have worked hard to make this change a reality. We’re continuing to listen to feedback and make changes where needed so that forces and training providers implement the routes in a way that best helps officers and ensures the public are protected.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, College of Policing CEO

The new training is directly helping the government’s plan to recruit 20,000 additional officers. National figures for the retention of new officers are higher for those undergoing the new training.

A recent survey of almost 4,000 new police recruits showed that:

  • 75% of those undergoing the updated training said it prepared them well for the job, compared with 60% for the previous course
  • 82% undergoing the updated training said they were provided with the skills for the job, compared with 66% for the previous training

Police Regulations have now been changed and previous training routes are closing at the end of March next year. Police forces can continue recruiting through these previous routes until the regulations come into force.

Whether you’re in Durham or Dorset, the public would expect local cops to all go through up to date and rigorous training. These changes ensure the police keep pace with all developments in crime, and give each officer the tools they need to keep the public safe.

Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Crime and Policing

The College is continuing to work with forces and other stakeholders to embed the changes and support implementation of the new training.

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