Audio: [ Public opinion on the requirement of having a degree to become a Police Officer] 01/10/19

Transcribed : 15/10/19

Robert (Interviewer) : Do you believe that the fact that degrees are being pushed towards being a requirement in order to be an officer is being widely advertised to the public? Have you been aware of this yourself?

Jack (Interviewee) : Uhm, personally no, there is nowhere on the police requirements website that it specify’s degrees will be required in 2020, people are suggesting that you need a degree by this date and now apparently the police have officially specified that that’s the case and that you will need a degree to become an officer at this date, but I don’t personally believe this is being made aware to the public enough, it’s the same with a lot of public services nowadays, few years ago you didn’t need a degree to be a paramedic and so on, although now you do.

Robert : Mhm, so what do you think about putting the requirement to have a degree to become an officer, how do you think this will affect people?

Jack: Personally I think it’s not something I can comment on yet as it will take a while for it to sink into it, the police will look better at you if you have a degree at the moment but you don’t necessarily need a degree at the moment to be a police officer, maybe to get up the ladder in ranks yeah, it will be more important although you get taught everything you need to know in training to be a special so there is no reason to need a degree, and a degree cannot prepare you for what you will be doing out there.

Robert: Okay, so what do you think are the main downsides to introducing degrees as a requirement to be a police officer?

Jack: On existing or new officers?

Robert: On both.

Jack: Oh, I believe on existing officers they’re gonna feel like theyre being replaced with people that have no life experience but got a degree and they’ll feel inexperienced even though theyre the one on the streets at the moment making everybody safer and will make them annoyed that they’ve been doing this job for such a while and then get told that to continue they need better education whilst they’ve already been doing a good job for god knows how many years without a degree but then you have a downside for somebody doing a degree having no life experience being thrown in a job where you need loads of life experience, even working at the bar or working at some sort of public service, you need it and those getting the degrees are getting high paid jobs whilst those that have been current officers but with no degrees wont get as good of a job even though they’ve been doing such a hard job, which is unfair.

Robert: Alright, thank you, and what upsides do you think there are with introducing degrees to police officers?

Jack: You’re learning how to do things without biased opinions and youre doing a job role you learnt for a long while, and a lot of these things aren’t taught in training, so it helps as far as it comes with the law aspects and such, as in training police officers are specifically trained on what to do and are not taught anything else which is what you get from degrees.

Robert: Yeah, of course, thank you. So do you think that the current police officers have insufficient education?

Jack : No, they’ve got the minimum, such as the GCSE’s and as long as theyre confident about what they do and are good with interacting with the public then I believe theyre fine as that’s the main things you need to do for the job.

Robert : Yeah of course, fair enough, so why do you think public-wise the public might want officers to have degrees?

Jack: Uhm, in my opinion I feel like the reason they want it, or the government want it is because theres some money to be made out of it, I think police officers ethically know what theyre doing, they’ve given plenty of years of their life towards the career and putting that much time into something you know theyre not in it for the bad reasons, theyre in it to help the public and not be crooked cops, and they’ve worked all this time and dedicated time to the job.

Robert: So, what, do you think that maybe some people are trying to push the degrees situation over because they believe that police officers aren’t trained enough with laws and stuff?

Jack: Well, its not been known for me personally long enough in order for me to give a proper explanation about it

Robert: Yeah of course, well, do you think that if every officer had a degree that we would end up with better officers on the streets?

Jack: Well, not necessarily, again , it all depends on what type of person they are, everywhere you get good and bad people morally, but hopefully because of the degrees they get a better understanding with doing the job and can make less mistakes and make headlines for positive reasons.

Robert: Okay, thank you, and lastly, how do you think police officers will react when this hits the news and its officially been put in? I know you’ve mentioned this earlier but do you mind just expanding on it a bit? So if you were in their position as a police officer and heard this is happening, how would you react?

Jack: I would be furious, I would think that theres no reason to get a degree for something that’s my bread and butter and I know how to do properly and I’d feel that im getting replaced for others with no life experience.

Robert: Yeah, so as far as it comes with police officers on the street currently, do you think that this coming in will be affecting the numbers of police officers out there?

Jack : Possibly yeah, its possible to be losing out on thousands of police officers and it will cause a massive downfall on the police

Robert: Mhm, yeah, alright well thank you very much!