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Professionalising Policing - Bridging the Gap

Special Reports

Policing is challenging, demanding and exciting, open and subject to continuos change.

The reduction of financial resources creates uncertainty across rank and file, living up to the demands of the community and looking to do more with less. Intelligence led policing, Evidence based policing and now professionalising the police are just a few of the phrases continued to be used by central governmentand within the police services across the UK.

Professionalising the Police is now on the agenda with the development of a College of Policing having grown from National Police Training (NPT), CENTREX, and National Police Improvement Agencies (NPIA). The debate resurrects around graduate skills for new recruits and policing degrees as an entry requirement and for the continuos professional development of staff.

Those looking for a career in policing face fierce competition at a time when the service and other agencies have looked to cut costs and freeze or reduce recruitment. How can those seeking employment in policing prepare themselves making them more employable and attractive to law enforcement agencies? How can police training provide value for money at a time when the service now seeks to professionalise, providing a more robust level of accreditation? Should policing now develop a model similar to Nursing and Health where staff follow academic development for entry and career development?

Several Universities provide Foundation and Graduate qualifications in policing with some universities encouraging volunteering in the Special Constabulary to compliment the policing knowledge at a more practical level. Benefits to the employers are that the pool of potential employees have graduate skills and can be fit for independent patrol potentially providing savings to police training budgets.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in its School of Forensic and Applied Sciences is one of the established providers of Policing Degrees with an entry level of Foundation in Policing and BSc’s in Policing and Criminal Investigation (PCI) and Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation (FSCI) and now adding several new MSc Courses; Criminal Investigation, Cybercrime Investigation, Financial Investigating and Professional Practice (Early Action).

MSc Cybercrime Investigation is a new addition to the course list aimed at postgraduate students with an interest in a more specialist area of policing. MSc mCybercrime Investigation attracts both postgraduates and practitioners both in the UK and abroad in areas of policing and enforcement and is available Full or
Part time by Distance Learning or at the Preston Campus. The course is unique as it is aimed at the investigative skills required of a Cybercrime Investigator
developed with specialist staff from CEOP and the National Crime Agency and delivered by academic staff across three Schools of Computing, Forensics and Psychology supported by some visiting speakers.

Cybercrime has been identified as one of the key threats to the UK. Recorded crime continues to reduce and for the first time the British Crime Surveys includes cybercrime within the survey, a more coherent picture may start to emerge. Is computer enabled crime replacing the more traditional crimes, does cybercrime need to be specifically identified in UK as a recorded crime similar to hate crime in order to provide a clear picture of the threats but also the individual citizens within the UK? Policing resources may need to be more focussed on cyber investigation
to add to the National and Regional response to this area of criminality.

Students studying on this new MSc Cybercrime Investigation develop an understanding of the Budapest Convention, UK Strategy and legislation used to prevent and detect computer enabled crimes. An understanding of the psychology of the cyber criminal is explored and the practical knowledge and application of forensic computing techniques including open source internet investigation

The UCLAN policing team now provides study at a higher level providing MSc graduates opportunities to conduct research in more specialist areas of policing within the Research Team under the guidance of Professor Stuart Kirby developing several areas around evidenced based policing supporting local and national policing.

The policing courses attract large numbers, one of the unique advantages over its competitors is that the staff are both academic and experienced practitioners in policing including specialist areas of both overt and covert policing methods. Students learn academic skills blending experience and practical knowledge from a large team of ex-police and other law enforcement officers.

Policing students are encouraged to maintain Employability Development Profiles to maximise their academic and personal experiences and achievements. Opportunities to attend Leadership Courses, in the UK and at the UCLAN Cyprus Campus and/or to study on the Erasmus exchange to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic at Police Universities, to enhance the student experience providing team building and problem solving to their tool kit for securing a job on graduation.

Several new postgraduate courses compliment the third year BSc electives providing a more in depth study; MSc Criminal Investigation, MSc CyberCrime
Investigation, MSc Counter Terrorism, MSc Financial Investigation and MSc Professional Practice (Early Action) taught by expert practitioners and academics from across the Schools of Business, Computing, Health and Psychology.

The School of Forensic and Applied Sciences remains one of he largest providers of Forensics in Europe. The Preston Camus is about to undertake substantial
development with following financial investment to provide several new buildings

UCLAN has resourced the School with the latest Hydra Minerva suite to provide students with the experience of decision making in a safe simulated environment, adding to the new Forensic Laboratories in the multi-million pound JB Firth Building.

The School of Forensic and Applied Science is constantly striving to enhance the student experience and develop facilities and teaching strategies to ensure graduates are best equipped for the jobs market. If you would like any further information about our taught or research degree programmes or if you are a forensic expert seeking collaborative support in casework experiments please visit us at www.uclan.ac.uk/fas or contact us by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone: +44 (0)1772 892400

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