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New recruitment pathway fast tracks specials to PCs

Eighteen former volunteer Special Constables have recently completed the Specials to PC training course ? the first recruits in the UK to complete the new ten-week conversion.
Published - 25/10/2021 By - Chloe Livadeas

A “pioneering” new recruitment pathway aimed at widening access to front line policing has delivered its first cohort of new recruits

Nottinghamshire Police is piloting the fast-track course for the College of Policing. The force said it wants to “give full-time career opportunities to a more diverse range of candidates – for example those with relevant experience who may lack a university degree”.

Nottinghamshire are running a 70/30 split of IPLDP and the Police Constable Degree Programme, following concerns that the degree-only route would counter their efforts to diversify.

The force went on to say traditionally some specials have moved into full-time roles, but “some have effectively been prevented from doing so because they did not attend university when they were younger”.

Chief Constable Craig Guildford, a former special constable himself, said: "This programme is a national first which we have delivered on behalf of the service with strong support from the College of Policing.

"The feedback from candidates has been extremely positive. We have reduced the initial training inputs by 50 per cent when compared to non-specials, and the quality has been consistently high.

"As a former special constable myself, I think this entry route is good value for money on behalf of the public purse.

"Furthermore, it reflects all those volunteering hours and the skills gained by our dedicated volunteers.

"This is yet another route into the police force and reflects our commitment to significantly increasing the number of front line officers on our streets."

One of those who passed out at the event was a former control room operator who had been in his role for 17 years and had also been a special constable for 14 years.

PC Simon Wragg, aged 43, had experienced a lot of action from behind the desk and wanted to get into the communities. He said: "I felt a strong desire to do more to help my colleagues and be at the forefront of the incidents that were coming in.”

He went on to say: "I'm proud to finally be here. It's been a long journey because I had been thinking about it for a while. So when I saw this scheme being advertised I thought that it was perfect for me and I jumped at the opportunity. It's been a whirlwind programme and the training has been fantastic."

PC Wragg has now been allocated to the Worksop response team.

Another new recruit being sworn in was PC Logan Grieh, 19, who had previously completed his specials training at Lincolnshire Police.

He said: "Policing is what I've always wanted to do. It's always been my dream job so when I heard about the recruitment programme, I raced at the chance to apply. I just wanted to get out on the streets as opposed to studying and gaining a degree.

"I completed 600 hours of volunteering. Whenever I could, I was out working as special.

"I'm over-the-moon to be passing out today. I feel like I've got to where I want to be and it doesn't really feel like it's happening. I also feel so lucky to have been fast-tracked through the training and to now be a constable at the age of 19."

Following their ten-week conversion course, the new recruits attended a ceremony at Nottinghamshire Police's headquarters.

Addressing the recruits and their friends and family, CC Guildford said: "Can I just say thank you to the trainers for putting on a very good course at short notice.

"Lots of my new colleagues here are actually being posted back to the communities in which they've worked and volunteered and I think that's a really good recipe for success going forward.

"From my perspective they absolutely look the part. They will be hitting the ground running and believe you me, they have a good amount of reassurance and support from members of the public.

"I hope you will join me in wishing them all the best for the future in their long careers at Notts police. They really have done themselves and the organisation proud."

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