Graduation ceremony for West Mercia officers

Foundation degrees in Professional Policing were awarded to West Mercia police officers for the first time at a graduation ceremony last month.

34 officers attended the graduation ceremony held at force headquarters, Hindlip Hall, Worcester, to receive their Foundation degree from Chief Constable Paul West, alongside Chair of the Police Authority Paul Deneen and the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Teesside Professor Cliff Allan.

They are the first officers at West Mercia Constabulary to receive the degree, which was introduced as part of the new Initial Police Learning and Development Programme back in 2006. As a result of the changes made nationally to police officer training, West Mercia Constabulary began working in partnership with the University of Teesside to design and deliver a training programme that enables new officers to gain specific skills and knowledge in a classroom environment, before putting these professional skills into practice in police stations and out on patrol.

The programme, which takes two years to complete, equips student officers with the general and specific skills they need to be effective operational police officers. The student officers work with specialists from various police departments such as interview and road policing teams, as they progress through the course, as well as with lectures from the university, and community groups and organisations. Inspector Neil Lamputt, Professional Development Unit Manager for the force, said, "West Mercia Constabulary was one of the first forces in the county to move towards this type of training. The programme has been designed to provide training that meets the needs and requirements of the communities across the force and meets the demands of modern policing.

"The course was developed to meet Home Office requirements for newly recruited officers to be trained and educated within the communities they serve. We are very proud of all the officers who received their foundation degree this evening, they have worked hard to achieve it." The graduation ceremony was attended by officer's family members along with Robin Field Smith of Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary; Pamela Wojciechowski, Bench Chair of Worcester and Glyn Parry, Chair of the Telford and South Shropshire Magistrates Bench.

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