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Student Officers At Breaking Point

Student officers are at “breaking point” due to the strain of trying to complete a full degree “whilst working within a highly stressful role at extremely low pay”, the PFEW conference heard.

Officers discussed the Uplift programme and whether it was a false economy, given that some officers are leaving soon after signing up.

Mark Jones, Secretary of North Wales Police Federation (pictured), said: “Isn’t it a sad state of affairs that they are making a decision that policing isn’t for them, solely as a result of academic work?

“I had never met a more demoralised group of people before. It was soul-destroying.

“There was real cross section of people who had come from education into policing… and they all said, ‘we are struggling with the academic work’. There is no cognisance of doing a full-time job with a full-time degree.

“Something is not right, something has to change. This is not sustainable for the future.”

And a police trainer told the conference that some new recruits are using the programme to develop their own careers and have no intention on staying in the service: “Students state they are there to get a paid-for degree and then look for roles outside policing. It is a false economy.”

Sarah Charman, Professor of Criminology at the University of Portsmouth, said the number of people resigning from the police has risen by 104% between the end of 2012 and end of 2020.

She called for exit interviews and “difficult conversations” so senior leaders can understand why people are leaving the service.

Date posted: May 3, 2022

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