Concerns raised over police degree plans

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REQUIRING all new police officers to have degrees ‘undermines’ serving constables, the man who represents the rank-and-file has said.

Recruits will need a degree, either through an apprenticeship, a postgraduate conversion course of a degree.

The scheme, proposed by the College of Policing, is set to come into force from 2020.

John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said he backs training but is concerned about ‘sidelining’ serving officers.

In a message to federation members he said: ‘I fully support continuous development with credible training offered to all officers.

‘This must be standard across the country.

‘However the drive to ensure all officers must have a degree undermines those who don’t hold such qualifications but have proven themselves to be exceptional police officers.

‘The police service must truly represent the communities it serves, that means having a mixture of people from various backgrounds.

‘To say that only people with degrees can become police officers will create barriers and appear elitist.’

He added: ‘Professionalising the service can be done in many ways, undermining and sidelining those without degrees is not the way to do it.’