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More than half of 18-24 year olds see policing as ?too dangerous?

Survey by Professional Policing degree university casts doubt on 20,000 recruitment target
Published - 04/03/2020 By - Gary Mason

Almost a quarter (24%) of 18-24-year-olds believe a career in the police force is not accessible, despite government initiatives to boost officer numbers according to a survey by a university which has launched a Professional Policing degree recently.

The University of Law (ULaw) decided to conduct the survey on the back of the Government’s 20,000 uplift and the introduction of the Police Education Qualification Framework (PEQF) which will require all new recruits to have or work towards a degree qualification.

According to the findings, 50% of those aged 18-24 years old have never considered a profession in the police, whilst almost a third (31%) have but didn’t follow the career choice.

The main reason young people aren’t willing to pursue a career with the police is because they see it as a dangerous role (53%). However, ULaw also found that for more than one in ten (15%) young people the main reason is that they’re unsure of development opportunities, while 8% feel the force isn’t diverse enough and 6% agree they don’t see their own identity represented in the force.

ULaw has launched its Professional Policing (BSc) degree which it says aims to address the issues highlighted by the research. The degree, launched in September last year, allows students to develop a knowledge of policing before applying to a force and provides a foundation for further study in areas such as criminology which opens up further career options.

Salome Verrell, Senior Tutor at The University of Law, says: “Our research has highlighted that a significant proportion of young people do not see policing as an accessible career, which presents challenges for the police in recruiting young and talented individuals and reaching the demanding targets that have been set out.

“Our main focus is to provide students with a well-rounded knowledge of how to become a police officer, as well as looking at wider roles in the criminal justice system. In doing so we aim to improve perceptions of what a career with the police can entail, in turn improving diversity in the force, which will be key in increasing policing numbers in the coming years.

“We’re hopeful our new course will encourage people from all backgrounds and demographics to consider policing as a career and remove certain stigmas and barriers to entry highlighted by our research.”

The University of Law is a specialist provider of legal education and training, with campuses in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Guildford, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham, and an international campus in Hong Kong.

Students can also study its courses at the University of East Anglia, The University of Exeter, The University of Reading, and The University of Liverpool.

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