West Midlands Police starts officer recruitment
West Midlands Police is recruiting new officers under a student scheme designed to attract people from 'all walks of life'.
The student programme will contribute to the force bringing in 260 new officers over the next year. Training for candidates will start in April next year.
The officers will be trained as they work on their job as part of a course of up to three years.
It comes days after the Express & Star revealed the force had lost 24 per cent of its officers since 2010.
Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: "Modernising entry into the police service is a subject that has been talked about for some time, but now we are seeing that come into effect, with the first of our new candidates being given the opportunity to join West Midlands Police, while studying for a policing degree.
"It’s a huge step forward and is a massive change for policing.
"How we police our region is changing. We do not simply respond to incidents any more. Much of our work is about prevention and intervening early, where we can, to make a long-term difference to peoples’ lives."
He added: "Policing is such a busy, challenging and rewarding career choice and each of our 10,000 officers and staff will tell you different stories about what they do and why they do it but the thing that binds us as one, united force is the desire to help those in need.
"We hope this new approach will attract people from all walks of life, whether they want to join the police family or they have been interested by the ability to achieve a degree or a Graduate Diploma in Policing − an option that may not have been open to them before."
The student officers will train and study over either a two or three year period, depending on which entry route applies, with the degree being delivered in partnership with a university.
New officers will receive a starting salary of between £18,000 and £23,124 depending on entry route, previous qualifications and/or recognised prior learning.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "I want people from all backgrounds to apply to be a police officer to make the force look more like the communities it serves.
"We need to make sure that people from all communities apply to join the police to make sure we are harnessing the talents of all the people in the West Midlands."