Force extends ‘groundbreaking’ recruitment scheme to attract military veterans

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary is extending its “groundbreaking” Policing PLUS entry route into policing to attract new recruits with military experience.

Jul 4, 2023
By Paul Jacques
Chief Constable Scott Chilton

Policing PLUS (Military) will be specifically for veterans and the force is looking to introduce it in September.

The force unveiled is new Policing PLUS scheme in March, which not only enables officers to join via a non-degree entry route, but also allows those currently on the degree course to transfer onto the new programme.

It is the first scheme of its kind in the country, which Chief Constable Scott Chilton says allows recruits to “leave the classroom behind” to instead have an apprentice skills-based focus of learning on the job, in particular investigative skills.

Mr Chilton said: “I learnt a lot serving alongside ex-military colleagues in my early career, and later on with serving military as I led policing operations abroad.

“Life experience, leadership, courage and commitment to the cause are all traits that I know military can bring to policing, complementing the brilliant officers and staff we already have.

“I passionately believe that we must make it more attractive for those who have served our country to now serve our communities with the same skill and commitment.

“We must think outside of the box, and that is why Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary is working up a new scheme called Policing PLUS (Military). It will be specifically for veterans and part of our ground-breaking Policing PLUS entry route into policing.”

Mr Chilton said the plan has come from listening to staff with military experience, and engaging with colleagues in the military.

“They are helping us to better define the barriers people face, and to design a scheme that specifically addresses these; showing that we properly value prior proven skills and experience, decrypting the application process, simple things to help with resettlement, harnessing skills that people already have, bespoke time attached to specialist teams, wellbeing support and a buddy system,” he said.

“The College of Policing has already done good work in this area. In Hampshire and the Isle of Wight we believe we can now do even more because we don’t require those joining to complete a degree.

“Removing this requirement enables our training to be more flexible, focused and practical. Those joining us will be trained to the required high national standards, but in a way that is tailored to recognise and value the skills and experience that those who have served their country already have.

“Doing even more is common sense, especially at a time when policing needs to attract and retain vital experience.

“Our aspiration is for the scheme to start in September. Policing PLUS (Military) will be just one part of bringing in the different skills, experience and diversity that we need to deliver our force priorities of relentlessly pursuing criminals, putting victims first and delivering exceptional local policing.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary already holds a gold award – the highest standard – under the MoD Employer Recognition Scheme.

Policing PLUS is affiliated to the IPLDP+ programme under extended licence from the College of Policing.

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