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Degree students learn crime prevention from the Met

Future police officers are learning how to divert young people from crime as part of their degree studies.
Published - 07/01/2020 By - Chris Smith

Students at the University of East London hoping to join the Metropolitan Police have been mentoring young people through its new Pathways into Policing project.

Students on the new BSc Professional Policing (pre-join) degree have been working on Project Tri-Com, a collaboration project which aims to break down barriers and perceptions between groups through dialogue. Project Tri-Com also focuses on understanding peer pressure such as online, virtual and face-to-face.

Dr Sarah Jane Fox, the University of East London’s programme lead and director of policing explained: “We recognise the need to educate and inform about the police and the role of policing by establishing avenues of communications by interactivity and mentoring.”

Pathways into Policing is a strand of this and is designed to increase knowledge of the roles within policing and related careers. It acts as a stepping stone into policing and other related degrees.

It involves university students and young people from Westminster City School meeting with Metropolitan Police officers to discuss issues that affect them. The aim is to raise their awareness of the challenges that exist in the community and their understanding of how police officers respond to them.

In December the two groups of students came together to discuss knife crime in London, professionalisation of the police, technology used in policing and how people see the police as part of a mini conference at the University of East London.

Dr Sarah Jane Fox, told Police Oracle: “Whilst our students have to follow the College of Policing’s curriculum, we wanted to be more innovative and bring in the community focus. The topics discussed proved really interesting and provided some great insight and led to some interesting dialogue.”

Zainah James, a teacher from Westminster City School in central London, said: “Our students are interested in different aspects such as psychology, policing and the investigative area of police work.  This is a great opportunity for them to learn and contribute to tackling the issues that young people across London face.”

The university has also developed a top-up degree course to enable existing officers to gain a degree by undertaking just the third year of a programme leading to a BSc Hons in Policing Studies. Their on-the-job experience counts towards the first two years’ of study.

Dr Fox said: “Serving policing officers have so many skills and so much experience. This degree recognises this, we don’t want policing to lose them because they feel undervalued and left behind.”

The University of East London (UEL) is also one of the four universities which will be providing degree-level apprenticeship training for the Metropolitan Police Service. It follows the decision by the Met to award its education and training contract, worth £309m, to Babcock International who will run a consortium of four London-based universities – Anglia Ruskin University, Brunel University London, University of East London and University of West London. The contract will run until 2028. 

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