A major drive to recruit new officers to one of the top-performing police forces in the country begins today.

Applications to join Durham Constabulary as a police constable open this morning (October 11), with potential new recruits having until 5pm on Friday, October 25 to submit their application.

For the first time, the force is offering Police Constable Degree Apprenticeships in conjunction with Northumbria University.

Under the degree apprenticeships, student officers will study towards a degree in Professional Policing Practice as part of a three-year training programme while working as a police officer.

The university fees will be paid for by the force and students will be paid police officers from day one, with a starting salary of £24,177.

The recruitment drive is part of the national “Be a force for all” campaign, which aims to recruit 20,000 new police officers over the next three years.

Temporary Superintendent Catherine Clarke, from Durham Constabulary, said: “We are delighted to offer the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship scheme for the first time.

“Being a police officer is like no other job in the world. I can guarantee it’ll be the most challenging thing you’ve ever done, but it’ll also be the most rewarding.

“Through the apprenticeship, you’ll get to ‘earn while you learn’, combining vital on the job experience with classroom based learning at Northumbria University.

“Durham Constabulary has been rated as ‘outstanding’ for the past four years by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and, as a result, our officers are some of the best in the country.

“We are looking for a diverse group of people, who want to make a real difference to their communities and become positive role models in our society.

“I would encourage anyone who has the passion, dedication, professionalism and courage to go the extra mile to provide the best possible service to the people of County Durham and Darlington to apply.”

Acting Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Steve White, said: “A police force is only as good as its people and I would want to encourage anyone looking to embark on a policing career to consider joining one of the best forces in the world. Challenging, exciting and sometimes very difficult, but never boring – if this is for you, come and join us.”

Professor Peter Francis, Northumbria University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and an internationally-renowned criminologist, said: “We are very proud to be entering into a strategic partnership with Durham Constabulary, one of the best in the country, and delivering in partnership with them the innovative Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme.

“Combining Durham Constabulary’s commitment to providing ‘Altogether Better Policing’ and Northumbria’s world leading expertise in criminology, forensics, law and policing will mean all students experience the very best research rich learning and professional development available, enabling them to be fully prepared for life as police officers engaging proactively with members of the North East community.

“This is a very exciting development. I am looking forward to welcoming the next generation of police constables to Northumbria University.”

Application packs are available to download from the force website, www.durham.police.uk/Join-us/Pages/Recruitment.aspx

Key facts about the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

  • This is a three-year degree programme, comprising both classroom and workplace learning
  • You will need to be 18 or over at the time of application
  • You will need to have a level 3 qualification or equivalent, or two years’ service as a Special Constable, two years as a Police Community Support Officer or a police staff role which is deemed appropriate by the Chief Constable (subject to Recognition of Prior Learning in conjunction with Northumbria University)

NU 120 UCAS points or equivalent experience – to calculate your UCAS points, visit www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

  • You do not have to pay for the degree – we do, and while on the degree you will earn the salary of a police constable too