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University course teaches new methods to police officers

The University of Cambridge’s Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship course in Applied Criminology and Police Management has enrolled it’s first wave of ‘students’.

Over the next two years, those on the course will study latest innovations and discoveries in evidence based policing and exchange ideas about how to improve policing in their own agencies. Some on the course are involved in counter terrorism initiatives. Others tackle organised crime, or prevention of street violence, or safeguarding domestic abuse victims. All have risen through the ranks despite a good proportion of them having no prior experience of university.

The new apprenticeship degree course at the Institute of Criminology: 60 new apprentices for the Institute's 60th anniversary year is funded through the government’s Apprenticeship Levy. Employers who spend more than £3 million a year on salaries, pay half of one per cent of their pay bill into the Levy and this is used to fund extra training needs.

The officers will assemble in Cambridge for 2 weeks, three times a year. They will write four 3,000 word essays, including a critique of a major piece of research before they set to work on their one year dissertation project.

Phaedra Binns, manager in the Counter-Terrorism Unit at Thames Valley Police, said: “For me personally, you come away and you look at something like the knife crime predictive probability of an incident occurring. That’s something that, for me, is absolutely fascinating and that we can take away and potentially replicate. So now I’m personally motivated to go away and research that and see what’s being done, what’s effective, what we’re currently doing in the force and how we might do it better.”

Professor Lawrence Sherman, chair of the Police Executive Programme, said: “I have urged the student apprentices to view the apprenticeship not only as a means of transforming their own capability to protect the public, but also as an asset for the transformation of their entire police agencies.”   

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