Thames Valley Police has launched a pilot scheme to encourage more recruits from black and ethnic minority backgrounds to join the force.
It is providing funding to Bucks New University to support a class of 25 black and ethnic minority (BME) students and 25 subsequent places on Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) courses which will run in High Wycombe and Slough from January 2015.
Currently only five per cent of the force is BME, despite them making up 13.7% of the Thames Valley population.
Ch Supt Gilbert Houalla, head of neighbourhood policing and partnerships, said: “The aim of the pilot scheme is to attract people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds towards a police career with Thames Valley Police.
“It is important for Thames Valley Police to be able to effectively engage with all members of the community and understand how our diverse communities live and work in order to serve them.
“By offering assistance to complete the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing course to people from BME backgrounds, we will be able to achieve a more representative organisation and eventually offer a more effective, fairer and possibly sensitive service to all Thames Valley residents.”
The Certificate in Knowledge of Policing does not guarantee a job with Thames Valley Police, but gives candidates an official qualification in policing and is a mandatory requirement of joining the force.
It is a ten-week course, taught over five weekends, and gives candidates knowledge of policing and police law, and enables them to demonstrate some of the critical decision-making skills required for the role.
Staff from Thames Valley Police will also be contributing to the courses, with students receiving input from some of its key departments involved in the recruitment process as well as from experienced officers and new recruits about what it’s like to be a police officer with Thames Valley Police.
Places are now available and applications from potential students are being considered, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.