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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December 2006, 13:43 GMT
Degree-trained police start work
Beat officers (generic)
The 60 officers are the first in Kent to complete the new course
The first police officers trained to degree standard in Kent are starting work following their graduation.

The 60 officers passed out at the training college at Kent Police HQ in Maidstone after the two-year course.

"It is a far higher standard of training than we have ever had before," said Chief Constable Mike Fuller.

"They will be far better police officers, with a wider knowledge about rights and responsibilities and a higher level of legal knowledge."

Kent Police is among the pioneers of degree-level training and developed the new course with Canterbury Christ Church University.

Different policing

"We took a decision a few years ago to have a totally new probationer training programme," said chair of Kent Police Authority Anne Barnes.

"Policing is now very different and we wanted a different kind of training for our officers.

"We have people from forces all over the country coming to see what is going on here."

Students at the passing out ceremony told BBC Radio Kent they were proud of having completed "two years of hard work".

But Mr Fuller said they still had a lot to learn.

"Policing isn't about academic qualifications, it is about professional judgement and you only gain that through experience," he said.


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