Policing – Experience vs Degrees & Direct Entry
I have never heard the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, Cressida Dick, denounce the College of Policing’s soon-to-be-enacted policy of No Entry to the Police Service without a degree unless it’s via the Apprenticeship route. NEVER.
Likewise, I do not recall that I have ever heard her moan about Direct Entry at any level.
However, in an interview with my least favourite newspaper, speaking about Policing in general, she apparently had this to say.
Asked if Health & Safety got in the way of police officers acting on their instinct and whether there was still room for that sort of policing she said: ‘I think you have to be, to be a really good police officer you have to be instinctive.’
She added: ‘A lot of that instinct comes from experience and expertise and they are very well trained now and we go through lots of scenarios and yes of course they will go through risks.
‘Every day, every week I will be thanking someone for their extraordinary actions and every day I am hearing about extraordinary actions by officers who have had no time to think about it and have just done the right thing, the brave thing’.
So, Ms Dick, how do you get to possess all of that instinct, experience and expertise via Direct Entry? Intravenous Injection whilst taking ‘the oath’?
I don’t object to Graduates in Policing, I never have. There is definitely a place for them. Do I think that degrees are necessary? That is a totally different proposition, and no I don’t. In my humble opinion the current 2 year Probationary Period plus ongoing professional updates could easily be degree-equivalent.
Does joining with a Degree in any subject endow one with experience, instinct and expertise? I think not.
I’m not going to regurgitate my views of Graduate Entry, but with it, or without it, a good Police Officer will possess a broad, and almost unique, set of skills that are not learnt in the classroom.
It seems to me that Cressida Dick has just, unwittingly perhaps, just undermined the whole policy of Direct Entry and Graduate Entry with a handful of sentences.
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