As the coronavirus pandemic continues to remind us of the importance of our emergency services, the University of Sunderland is helping shape the next generation of police officers.

The new Professional Policing course will allow students to cover current topics such as organised crime and terrorism as well as spend time in off-the-job training, which could help tackle crime or anti-social behaviour.

It is also the only programme in the country to give students the option to fast-track their career into policing in just two years.

The course has won the praise of Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, who recently revealed plans to boost officer numbers.

“I’m committed to doing everything I can to build our force back up after years of cuts,” she said.

“The pandemic has certainly highlighted just how important our police service is and that’s why by next month our force will have taken on a record total of 459 new officer since April last year.

“I have also recently announced a further 60 new detectives to really strengthen our resources for fighting and preventing crime.

“Courses like this are a good way for some people to learn more about policing and hopefully go on to using their knowledge to apply for all sorts of roles that will contribute towards keeping our region safe. I hope many of this course’s students go on to achieve excellent careers in policing.”

Senior Lecturer in Policing at the University, and former Northumbria Police detective, Dr Jeremy Pearson, welcomes the PCC’s recruitment drive.

He said: “The detective role is vital to the effective investigation of serious crime and PCC McGuinness’s plan to increase their numbers acknowledges the hard work that many detectives do as they manage increasing case-loads.

“I am proud that the Professional Policing degree at the University of Sunderland is providing the next generation of police officers with the essential knowledge required for a successful career in the police service and hopefully many of our students will eventually become detectives themselves”.