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The major incident simulation helped us to put theory into practice

Laura Payne graduated with a BSc degree in Professional Policing in the summer of 2023. She joined West Mercia Police where she is now a student police officer undertaking the Professional Policing Degree (PPD) programme.

“While at UoG, I enjoyed all the courses provided and made some lifelong friends. I have been lucky to join West Mercia Police with one of my former university friends. The University helped us prepare for the different aspects of the police recruitment process. Some of the tutors put us in touch with different police forces who were able to come in and talk to us in person about the recruitment process.

“I enjoyed the three years at the University as I was a student ambassador, and I was able to attend the College of Policing meeting, which was held at University of Gloucestershire. This meeting allowed me to express my concerns and how well the course is preparing us for the police. From attending the meeting, I suggest to anyone who is completing the three-year Professional Policing degree to apply to be a Special Constable as this will enhance what you learn in lectures and be able to put practice into practical knowledge.

“The University was beneficial in putting our lesson-learning into a practical setting. I enjoyed the major incident practical as it was a joint practical with the paramedic students. This practical was the most real environment to how it will be during a major incident; however, it was a safe space to learn and understand how both services work together.

“In the final year, I had to complete a dissertation, which allowed me to explore an area which was a genuine interest. I did my dissertation on knife crime and school exclusion rates. While completing this dissertation, I was able to speak to police officers and people within the education sector with lived experience to understand their views on this growing problem. My dissertation tutor was really helpful and supportive during the whole process.

“After finishing University and before I started with the police, I worked with the Children’s Society as part of the Steer Clear project. Since forming these relationships, my dissertation is being published and further research around this growing problem with young people.

“I decided to join West Mercia Police after the force came in and did a talk about the Professional Policing Degree (PPD) route. When I applied for PPD, I was able to get extra support from the positive action team for all aspects of the process.

“I started the PPD course in September after finishing University in June – this has been a quick turnaround, and I am enjoying the PPD course. One piece of advice is to enjoy the three-year course, as once you start in the police, everything moves full steam into your career.”