The University of Derby has caused outrage amongst some sections of the UK’s 122,000 police officers, by suggesting that students should consider becoming a police officer if their exam results were not as good as they had expected.
The Facebook advert, which has been running since 23rd August, is currently still active and is one of around 24 adverts which the University is running.
John Apter, Chairman of the Police Federation of England & Wales, told Emergency Services News:
“This campaign is insulting to those who have chosen policing as a vocation.
“To suggest to those who have disappointing exam results ‘not to worry’ and to give policing a try is short sighted and completely undermines the whole apprenticeship scheme.
“This campaign, is a car crash.
“I would ask that the University of Derby apologises to my colleagues who will see this as yet another kick in the teeth.
“At the same time maybe the University should invest in some better marketing!
“Police Officers work tirelessly in order to try and protect the public and we need highly-motivated and committed officers to join the policing family, rather than people who have merely run out of options; which is what this campaign by the University of Derby seems to be pushing for”
The advert currently being run by the University of Derby
Former Met Police Detective Chief Inspector, Peter Kirkham told Emergency Services News:
“I’m very concerned to see UoD advert for a couple of reasons.
“Firstly it suggests that their ordinary recruitment process for the specialist police degree courses hasn’t filled the places available (as they focus on trying to attract students to unfilled courses at this stage of the process).
“Secondly, it suggests that many of those joining the course will not be doing it as their first choice, but something they ended up doing when they didn’t get the grades for the first choice.
“I’m not a great one for thinking that the grades you get in academic qualifications are any measure of your fundamental intelligence or worth, but policing is a vocation and something that is best done by someone who really wants to do it.
“As the specialist policing degrees are now designed to fairly directly deliver graduates into the police service this means many will find themselves doing a job that wasn’t their first (or even second!) choice.
“That can’t be good for policing.
“The fact there seem to be vacancies on the course suggests the volumes coming through the specialist degree route may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the police service, meaning more volume will be needed in the apprenticeship route.
“Overall, it is yet another “red flag” about the new recruitment framework being pushed through by the College of Policing despite concerns being raised by many.
“They really need to take a step back, listen to the concerns, review what is happening and address (rather than arrogantly dismiss) the concerns being raised”.
Twitter users shared their disdain towards the advert with @Jingo399 tweeting:
‘Just what the job needs. People who are not sure that they even want to do it in the first place…’
‘And don’t forget the pay is c**p and you might get killed too’.
‘I’m sure that the @CollegeOfPolice are swelling up with pride as we speak. Can’t get enough recruits? Let’s take anyone who can pass a test or 2…Great’.
However, @DWat999 tweeted:
‘To be fair worked for me.
‘P**s poor exam results, didn’t know what to do with my life.
‘If honest thought I was just going to end up doing min wage shop/warehouse job.
‘Stumbled across a police recruitment poster.
‘The rest is history as they say’.
Police Forces up-and-down the country are currently pushing ad campaigns to try and replace the 22,000 officers who were culled under Theresa May’s premiership.
In a recent tweet shared by Surrey Police, they said:
‘Becoming a police officer can be a rewarding career. No two days are the same. Could you join us in making Surrey the safest it can be?’
Many believe that the cuts to the police are directly responsible for the increase in violent crime and for the rise in the number of incidences where police officers are being seriously assaulted.
A spokesperson at the University of Derby said:
“We sincerely apologise for any offence this advert may have caused to past, present and future police officers or anyone associated with the police force.
“These adverts were part of our 2019 Clearing campaign and were intended to highlight the opportunities available to those looking to study at the University of Derby.
“We absolutely recognise the importance and value of policing as a career path and understand that the advert copy did not reflect this. We have therefore removed the adverts and are reviewing the process by which these adverts were published to ensure this does not happen again.”