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Staffordshire Police launched its first ever Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme (DC DHEP) in partnership with Staffordshire University in November.
Thirty new student officers took their attestation and were sworn in as police officers that month.
The force and Staffordshire University have worked in partnership to deliver the course, which is accredited by the College of Policing.
It offers a two-year intensive programme which combines a mix of on-the-job practical policing experience with detective teams, alongside academic tutoring and rotations in different departments.
Once the students have successfully completed the course, they will be awarded a Level 6 Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice by Staffordshire University and a PIP 2 Detective delivered under licence by the College of Policing. They will then be posted as a Detective Constable in the force’s investigations directorate.
In the last of a series of profiles looking at the candidates on the course, we meet Eden Atkinson, who gives us an insight into what made her decide to join the course.
NAME: Eden Atkinson
PREVIOUS POLICE EXPERIENCE: Volunteer work at university around student safety awareness
INSPIRATION TO BE A DC: Helping and protecting my community
"As soon as I saw on Facebook that Staffordshire Police were starting the DC DHEP programme I went for it. It was the first time that I could apply for my dream job - to join the police as a trainee detective.
"This has been a dream job for me for many years so I’m very excited to get started. I am most looking forward to the investigation aspect of the job. I have always been a good problem solver and I always have to find out more, learn and investigate. Gathering all the information together to build a picture of the situation is my goal.
"Since a very young age it's been my dream and my goal to join the police, helping and protecting people in my community.
"I studied a BSc in policing and criminal investigation at Staffordshire University and I went on further to study a MSc criminal investigation at the University of Derby. While there I volunteered through my university to spread awareness on how students keep themselves safe in a new community and building trust with the police.
"I then worked as a personal assistant in Complex Care for five years and then as a KORE therapist (physio) in a clinic in Rugeley.
"I am a very family-oriented person, and I live with my partner Sam and our boxer dog, cat and lizard. I am also a qualified PADI rescue diver - I completed this while visiting my mum in the Caribbean, where she lived for a several years. Through that and being a KORE consultant, I have encountered many different things from sharks in shipwrecks to fixing whiplash."