Record numbers apply to join West Midlands Police
The number of applications to join West Midlands Police has topped 7,500 since April last year when the force launched its new student officer programme in partnership with Staffordshire University.
And last week saw the “second highest rate of applications in recorded history”, with 240 people submitting applications for the student officer programme – more than double the previous week and 75 per cent higher than its weekly average.
Toni Williams, who is leading the force recruitment project, said: “We are going through challenging times, both as a nation and as a force, and so to see so many people wanting to pursue a police career with us is inspiring.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to our new degree-entry programme over the past 12 months and the efforts to attract and recruit new officers continue, even in these challenging times.
“Hearing that last week brought our second highest rate of applications in recorded history is an uplifting message for all of us at the moment and we thank everyone who has taken the time to consider our career options and submit an application.”
Successful applicants will join one of the force’s student officer programmes, with recruits working across frontline response, neighbourhood and investigations teams during their training.
Training lasts three years, or two years if the student officer has previously graduated with a degree.
Ms Williams added: “In truth, we expected to see applications reduce for a short time as we deal with the current situation. We also hoped people who may be facing an uncertain future may start to consider policing as a career option as time goes on. To see such an immediate impact is overwhelming.”
West Midlands police and crime commissioner David Jamieson said: “In these difficult and unprecedented times, to see the number of applicants soar is testament to the great spirit of the people of the West Midlands.
“Police officers are key to ensuring that communities are kept safe and reassured and I am pleased that we are able to continue recruitment. Officers and staff at West Midlands Police work 24/7 to protect the public and keep us all safe, more applications means a much wider pool of excellent talent to help us in that effort.”
The force said that ordinarily the police officer recruitment process involves candidates attending assessment centres, medicals, fitness tests and uniform fittings – all involving travel and face-to-face contact.
“In the current climate, we are changing our processes to reduce the need for travel and contact with others, such as moving some aspects online,” it added. “The student officers train on the job, moving around different force departments, while also studying towards a degree or graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice.”