Dyfed Powys Police Federation secretary Roger Webb has welcomed the Home Secretary’s decision to axe the requirement for new recruits to study for a degree.
Suella Braverman said she would ensure a non-degree entry route into policing was kept open and continue delivering “officers of the highest calibre”.
The move comes after a backlash from chief constables, police and crime commissioners (PCCs) and Police Federation leaders who all warned the degree requirement was having a serious impact on recruitment options.
Sixteen PCCs wrote a letter to Suella Braverman warning that up to 10 per cent of their officers were studying for the qualification rather than fighting crime with over-stretched colleagues on the frontline.
Roger said: “We have never agreed with this recruitment policy because you clearly don’t need to have a degree to be a good police officer.
“While it may be a positive thing to recognise police officers’ skills in a formal qualification, if we insist that every new recruit must study for three years, we are simply going to put people off joining.
“This only adds to the already considerable pressure on our colleagues on the frontline. We need officers out of the classroom and on the frontline where they can make a difference for the public.”
Since last year, recruits have been required to have a degree or to join as an apprentice while they earn a qualification.
The College of Policing stood by the change and insisted it gave officers recognition and accreditation as professionals.
But Ms Braverman told a conference for police chiefs that she had asked the college to consider options for a new non-degree entry route, alongside the process for recruits who took higher education.
She said: “I have asked the college to build on their work by considering options for a new non-degree entry route, to deliver officers of the highest calibre, which will complement the existing framework.
“In the meantime, the current transitional non degree entry route will be kept open. Our police force must be open to those who do not have a degree or want one.
“And I will take the scissors to any red tape that gets in your way.”