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Officers of the future join the special beat
POLICE officers of the future were sworn in at a ceremony in Oxford.
Students studying the new Oxford Brookes Foundation Degree in Policing attended their attestation ceremony at Headington Hill Hall on Tuesday night.
They are now allowed to practise policing alongside regular officers.
The 13 students were given the powers of Special Constables and presented with warrant cards so they can go on the streets with the police.
They were joined by four other Special Constables who were taking part in the ceremony.
Lindsay Cloughley, the higher education co-ordinator for foundation degree policing, said it was a proud moment for all involved.
Ms Cloughley, 49, from Witney, said: “It was the first time we have done this which makes it really exciting, especially for the students. We have just finished a semester which was very academic with lots of exams.
“Each of the students had to read their attestation statements to a magistrate. It was also the first time they wore their uniforms and that was good for them, too.”
The foundation degree is being delivered by Oxford and Cherwell Valley College (OCVC) in collaboration with Thames Valley Police.
The new two-year course began in September and was one of the first of its kind. More courses have now been set up at other universities as the police roll the scheme out around the country.
Nick Collins, 18, from Kidlington, was the youngest of the students being sworn in.
Mr Collins said: “The course is hard work but you get back what you put in.
“It was difficult with the academic side but we are looking forward to the practical side a lot more.
“The attestation is a big part in our career in the police. You only get it once.”
James Salt, 28, from Faringdon has moved from a career in conservation to take on the police course.
Mr Salt said: “With cuts, recruitment seems to have dropped over the last couple of years and I thought this would be an extra string to my bow.
“But this makes it a lot more official. Hopefully we will be able to move on now and put everything we have learnt into practice.”
Hannah Phillips, 19, from Wheatley, was inspired to take on the course by her dad, Paul Phillips, also a police officer who has served for 30 years in the force.
Miss Phillips said: “The course has been a lot more academic than I thought it would be and we have also learnt about the history of the police.”
Now the students have been sworn in they get eight weeks of training with Thames Valley Police.
Then they will need to volunteer for 18 hours a month as a special constable, while completing their studies.