Warwickshire Police has welcomed 18 students on to its first ever Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme (DC DHEP).
These new student officers started last Monday at the force’s Leek Wootton Headquarters, and will be studying a two-year, intensive, trainee detective development programme, which will provide them with specialist training in investigations. Warwickshire Police is one of the country’s first forces to launch this course, and the pioneer for the West Midlands region.
The ground-breaking programme will see the graduates combine a mix of on-the-job practical policing experience with our detective teams, alongside additional, remote academic tutoring. The whole course has been specially designed by Learning and Development and Investigations teams within Warwickshire Police, in partnership with three other regional forces, Staffordshire, West Mercia and West Midlands, and our education partners at Staffordshire University.
With crime continually evolving in its sophistication and technology, the need for more trained investigative officers has increased across the country. An enormous amount of work has been invested in the design of this alternative entry route in to policing, with a Quality Standards Assurance process completed and signed off by both the College of Policing and the University.
The new students will be a welcome addition to the organisation and help build our force resilience. After initial structured classroom training, they will branch out to our Patrol and Investigation teams, before placements in our Serious and Complex Crime teams, once they have completed 12 months of service.
They will be assessed throughout the course and at the end of the two years, successful students will be awarded a Level 6 Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. They will also receive a nationally recognised Level 2 (Serious & Complex) Professionalising Investigation Programme (PIP2) Accreditation, issued by the College of Policing, for which they will also be required to pass the National Investigators’ Exam (NIE). On completion, they will be accredited Detective Constables.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Part of my pledge to increase officer numbers to pre-austerity levels and beyond was to ensure that Warwickshire Police is in a position to improve its capabilities across a range of functions. Up until now, our new student officers have gone into patrol policing roles, boosting visibility across the county and ensuring more resources are available to answer 101 and 999 calls from the public, but this is only part of the picture.
“Victims of crime rightly expect that every effort is made to detect crime as it occurs, especially in more serious and complex cases. That requires officers with specialist skills and training, so increasing the numbers of detectives across the force has been something that I have been keen to fund and see happen quickly.
“That’s why it is pleasing that Warwickshire Police is among the first in the country to be able to recruit new detectives in this way and I was delighted to join the Chief Constable in welcoming them all in person on their first day at Leek Wootton.”
Martin Jelley, Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police, said, “I am delighted to personally welcome these new recruits to Warwickshire Police. Whilst there are internal opportunities for promotion and specialism for our existing officers who aspire to be detectives, these new trainee detective constables will bring additional resilience to this specialist field.
“It is fantastic to be one the first forces in the country to be launching this unique training programme, and I would like to thank all the teams involved for enabling us to be a pioneer of this important strategic initiative. Our detective teams work tirelessly to pursue criminals, solve serious and complex crimes, seek justice and protect our local communities from harm. I know our investigation teams have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of these new colleagues and will be offering them their full support through their learning and work placements. It’s been a pleasure to meet each of our new officers and I look forward to watching their continued progress on the frontline within our force.”
Staffordshire University Senior Lecturer, Jim Holyoak, said: “The Institute of Policing proudly works with police colleagues to develop and deliver courses for the police officers of the future and we had great feedback on our DC DHEP programme from the College of Policing. I really enjoyed meeting these new recruits last week and it was clear how much being Warwickshire Police Detective Constables meant to them. I have no doubt that this group of student officers will go on to achieve great things.”