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Notts launches CoP-backed military recruitment bid

The country’s first scheme to provide a direct pathway for military personnel into policing has been launched by Nottinghamshire Police.

Nottinghamshire Police is set to open applications for a new Military Widening Access Course - and the College of Policing has given its backing.

The initiative, starting in January next year, will ease criticism over the move to degree courses which some Chiefs and Police and Crime Commissioners have argued limits the pool and life experiences of potential recruits.

Currently, there is no specific national pathway for serving members of the Armed Forces to join the police – despite lots of military skills translating well into policing.

It’s been a traditional source of new officers, particularly during the austerity era. And forces, including the Met and Essex, have also utilised their specialist skills as armed response officers.

Nottinghamshire's own officers have been vocal about bringing in military personnel.

Police and Crime Commissioners are also looking at how they can bring intelligence officers in to tackle OCG offending.

The force has co-designed an innovative Level 4 qualification in Policing with the University of Derby, accessible to those within the military who are looking to utilise their skills and experiences in the police service.

The 12-week pilot course fast-tracks entrants onto the second year of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, which involves on and off-the-job learning in partnership with the University of Derby and the Ministry of Defence.  

Having joined the police, the new recruits will then complete a two-year probationary period to be confirmed in post as a police officer and achieve a degree.

Nottinghamshire also recently re-signed to the Armed Forces Covenant as part of work to ensure the new recruits will be supported.

Superintendent Louise Clarke said: “We recognise the skills that are transferable from the military. They are problem-solving skills, communication skills, conflict resolution and they’ve had some worldwide experience – all of those things we recognise can make a really strong police officer.

“The force is proud to already count a number of former serving members of the Armed Forces and Reservists among its employees, and the skills and experience military personnel bring are highly valued.

“We’ve had lots come through and been really successful at all ranks in our organisation and, therefore, the Armed Forces is a talent magnet we and the service want to tap into.”

It’s not the only force to look at new ways of meeting its Uplift target; the Met announced earlier this year it is going outside the London boundary to attract new recruits.

Chief Constable Craig Guildford said the force will continue to be proactive in attracting diversity into the ranks.

He said: “Whenever we look to recruit new police officers, we look for people who are compassionate, resilient and above all dedicated to making communities safer places to live, work and visit.

“Many of our military personnel have these attributes in abundance and that is why we have launched this innovative new pathway.”

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