If you’ve ever thought about a career with the police, one local officer suggests you adopt the Nike philosophy.
“Just do it,” said police officer Rachael Cumberbatch, when asked by a University of Roehampton student for advice on how to join the force.
Cumberbatch was speaking at an interactive session delivered as part of the University of Roehampton’s Employability Week series of events. She, together with UR lecturer Justin Browne, walked UR students through the challenges and rewarding aspects of a life in law enforcement.
“It genuinely is exciting, and even though the work demands are high, and it does get you down sometimes, you have such a laugh,” said Cumberbatch, who is based around Whitelands. “I have never laughed so hard as I have laughed in the police. It is the best job I have ever done, and it is an honour and a privilege to do it.”
The talk began with a short video showing a typical day in the life of a Metropolitan Police emergency response team in London to give the attendees a flavour of what this role involves on a day-to-day basis.
Browne, a UR lecturer of Criminology and Policing who is also a former police officer, then spoke of the challenges in the police, including those surrounding diverse communities, the changing nature of crimes and culture. His aim was to “take a balanced approach” towards describing what life is like working for the police, speaking from 31 years of experience in the force.
Lecturer and former police officer Justin Browne speaks with UR students.
Photo by Rio Merrett.
Students were given real-life scenarios and moral dilemmas that the police would have to face. They partook in an interactive survey and were given the opportunity to explain their decision-making. This section of the event involved some engaging and insightful discussions amongst the students and speakers.
Sasha Goloborodko, a third-year Creative Writing student, was full of praise about the session. She said that it was very informative and “the critical discussions were respectful of everyone’s intelligence”.
The talk concluded with Browne outlining the pros and cons of working for the police. He explained that whilst the job is exciting and gives you a sense of purpose, it can be stressful and the decisions you make are critical. “The police need people who are different and who are empathetic,” he said.
The former Superintendent also said that people interested in working with the police should be critical thinkers with strong problem-solving skills.
If working in the police is of interest, students can visit the Police Now website for information on two programmes that are available: the National Graduate Leadership Programme and the National Detective Programme. These programmes provide excellent opportunities for graduate students to gain relevant experience in the field of policing. Applications are open now.
By Casey Brockbank, UR Journalism Student