Introducing future Detective Constable Umer - one of the first ever crop of officers on Staffordshire Police's Degree Holder Entry Programme
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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 third of a series of profiles looking at the candidates on the course, we meet Umer Iqbal, who gives us an insight into what made him decide to join the course.
NAME: Umer Iqbal
PREVIOUS POLICE EXPERIENCE: Staff detective at another force, member of the Black Police Association (BPA)
INSPIRATION TO BE A DC: Investigations, dealing with high pressure jobs and having a presence in talking with communities.
"I saw an online advert for the DC DHEP application. I was already working for another police force at the time as a staff detective in CID and a member of the local Black Police Association (BPA). Police recruitment is competitive, and this was my first attempt at applying to become an officer.
"After university I worked in various roles and started working in a police staff role in information management a few years ago. After a year I got promoted and then two years later I was successful getting a job as an investigator. I’ve worked with some great staff members and fantastic officers.
"I really enjoy investigations and I have a massive amount of respect for everyone dealing with frontline policing. Ultimately, if I’m going to train to be a police officer, whether it’s a detective career path or otherwise, I’m going to need that frontline experience. Whether that be dealing with high pressure jobs or walking the streets and having that presence, talking with communities. There’s loads to learn.
"I’ve practiced ITF Taekwon-Do - older than the WT style you see in the Olympics. I’ve done a couple of tournaments, getting beaten up here and there, as well as winning a handful of medals. Most of all I just enjoyed doing the art for self-defence but also fitness and flexibility. I don’t believe I’m the one to pass on any tips because I’m no expert. We’re given good training by our police trainers - but I’d always be happy to go over concepts and techniques with colleagues."