UWE Bristol offers of wide range of apprenticeship programmes and we regularly catch up with our apprentices to hear about their experiences.
In this Meet the Apprentice we caught up with one of our Professional Policing Practice Apprentices working with Avon & Somerset Police.
What attracted you to becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice?
At the time of applying to be a Police Officer, the Degree Apprenticeship was not set up. I had little idea or thoughts about it until I enrolled on the programme. I simply accepted it, as this was the route to doing the job that I wanted to do. Now that I am on the course and in the role, I am really glad I made the leap. The course has not only developed how I learn for the better, but given me a great understanding for the issues that affect our community as a whole.
Thinking about your apprenticeship experience to date, what have been the main benefits to your career development?
Avon and Somerset is a diverse area that is culturally rich, densely populated and has busy cities such as Bristol & Bath. True legitimacy and confidence, requires an ongoing and consistent dialogue with all of our communities to ensure we maintain those Peelian principles of approval and respect. Without the publics support in our actions as a Constabulary then we cannot legitimately Police society. The current idea of the PCDA program is to create a new kind of Police Officer that is a reflective practitioner and a critical thinker.
Police actions have come under scrutiny in past years with the appalling circumstances leading to the murders of George Floyd and Sarah Everard. According to works by Rinehart & Kochel in 2011 and Bottoms and Tankebe in 2012 “The police now more than ever need to ensure that their actions are procedurally just and work to build legitimacy with the entire population that they serve. In this, the police must acknowledge that the ‘community’ is made up of several communities that are not homogenous and may require nuanced policing”. Thinking about this critically we as Officers need to have an understanding of social behaviour and society. For example, officer behaviour has been linked to the outcomes with suspect, in particular procedurally fair officers influenced positive change in suspect behaviour (Miller and Alexandrou, 2016). Procedural justice has been known to enhance perceptions of police legitimacy (Madon, Murphy & Sargeant, 2017).
By being reflective and dynamic in my approach, applying the lessons learned through academia and experience I have seen the benefits of the program. With the influx of new Officer’s coming through we have an opportunity to ‘jumpstart’ policing, and in particular focus on how we integrate and support the public.
What are the top three things you would recommend to someone thinking about becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice?
1. Get stuck in and embrace it. It’s a fantastic opportunity that could take you a long way.
2. Engage with the learning and don’t be held back. I never though myself particularly academic, but nothing is impossible.
3. There truly is no other job like Policing.
What are your future goals beyond completion of your apprenticeship?
I already have the best job, that challenges me with new situations everyday, so I haven’t really given it a lot of thought.
Find out more about Apprentices at UWE Bristol.