THE University of Cumbria has welcomed its first students to a new fast-track detective development programme.

The 19 new officers at Sussex Police are among the first nationally to undertake the intensive two-year Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme which offers specialist training in investigations.

They have been personally welcomed to the force by Sussex’s Chief Constable Jo Shiner and Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

Their recent attestation ceremony also included 28 new officers who are among the latest wave of trainees starting a three-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).

The new detective Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) blends practice and theory with real world experience in the workplace and learning assessed by the university.

Gary Slater, Principal Lecturer for Policing at University of Cumbria, said: “Our experienced police teaching team is delighted to be collaborating with Sussex Police to deliver the new detective Degree Holder Entry Programme as well as the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship once again.

“Together, we and our fellow universities in the Police Education Consortium, will educate more than 1,000 new police recruits in south east England over the next three years, helping to establish consistency in police training nationally and bring policing in line with professions such as nursing and teaching.”

The recruits, who are funded by the both the Government’s national recruitment campaign and the Sussex’s policing precept, are working alongside each other for the first 30 weeks.

The trainee detectives then specialise in investigations, working towards a Diploma in Professional Policing Practice and accreditation as a detective constable over the course of two years.  They then go on to join investigation teams or safeguarding units across Sussex.

University of Cumbria is one of four universities with top tier police education expertise to have joined together as the Police Education Consortium.

Sussex Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “It was a pleasure to welcome these 47 new officers to the force and I am proud that Sussex Police – through collaboration with the University of Cumbria – is one of the first forces in the country to launch the new fast-track Detective Constable DHEP programme.