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New route into neighbourhood policing for degree holders

Join our DHEP programme.

We’re looking for degree-holders to join us in helping make communities safer and stronger, as we launch a new Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) as an additional route into neighbourhood policing. 

From 24 April for approximately two weeks, our recruitment is open to degree holders – whether upcoming, recently qualified, or those looking for a career change.  

Candidates who successfully apply will enter the police service on an accelerated two-year programme to become a neighbourhood police constable. They will study toward a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Policing Practice, whilst working under tutorship and earning a full salary as a neighbourhood police officer, starting on a salary of £28,551.  

Positions are available across the Avon and Somerset area, but with particular demand in South Somerset. 

Neighbourhood police officers work as part of a team that usually includes police community support officers (PCSOs), police staff, special constables, and police support volunteers. 

They are fully trained police officers with powers of arrest, who investigate crimes and enforce the law within their designated neighbourhood. They work within, and closely with, the local community to address neighbourhood issues such as drug dealing and anti-social behaviour, carry out crime prevention work, protect vulnerable children and adults, and work as part of wider operations tackling other offences, such as knife crime. 

Community relationships are at the heart of the role. Neighbourhood officers engage with the public, link in with businesses, schools and colleges, and work with partner organisations, such as councils and housing providers to problem solve, whilst providing knowledge, reassurance, and resolution to the problems of those who live and work in the local area. 

Hence, in addition to a degree, candidates will need to be tenacious, have excellent communication skills and be able to engage with people in a wide range of situations. 

Recruited officers will undertake classroom-based learning, practical application, tutorship and study, which is split between the University of the West of England (UWE) campuses, Police Headquarters in Portishead, and local police stations. 

They will also spend 14 weeks working with Response Team colleagues who attend incidents as they happen, responding to 999 and other emergency calls, crimes in progress, mental health incidents and other time critical situations. 

Our Neighbourhood Policing Superintendent Dan Forster says: “The DHEP route into neighbourhood policing offers an exciting new opportunity to begin a policing career. Our police officers come from all backgrounds and this is an ideal role for Degree holders who are motivated by wanting to make a difference in local communities.” 

Full details can be found at: Police officer Degree Holder Entry Programme | Avon and Somerset Police 

Applications are initially open until 23:55 hrs on 7 May. However, please note that we may close the application window early if a large number of applications are received, so we recommend applying as soon as possible,