“It’s really important that we have universities that offer a vocational and professional focus”
Chief Constable of Merseyside Serena Kennedy has offered her heartfelt backing to LJMU as a professions-oriented university offering education for all.
LJMU educates more than 1,000 police officers through degree apprenticeships, diplomas and professional courses and takes many of them from GCSE to Bachelor degree.
“It’s really important that we have universities that offer a vocational and professional focus,” said the Chief Constable.
“We must have education that serves all of our communities and I’m really proud that people can join Merseyside Police with GCSEs and - with LJMU’s help - we can give them the chance to become police officers and earn a degree.
“The fact that 78% of our recruits come in at Level 2 (GCSE) is a real positive for our community.”
Serena Kennedy was speaking ahead of the annual LJMU Chief Constable’s Lecture on December 1, attended by Vice-Chancellor Mark Power, regional policing leaders, and academics and students from the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing (LCAPS).
The Ormskirk-born officer spoke warmly of the relationship with LCAPs and said the Force was privileged to have an expert policing institute on its patch.
“Having a dedicated centre has truly helped – LJMU is our provider of our PEQF framework, so we’ve got our people studying here.
“The close relationship means we’ve been able to have those conversations about my priorities for the Force, how we can meet the requirements of national standards, and how we can best ensure officers are ‘graduating’ with a real understanding of the local issues and the Force’s priorities.
“The partnership is a real strength of ours; I am keen on new ideas and innovation, and it allows us to commission pieces of research and evidence of best practice from trusted academics.”
Serena Kennedy is regarded as a strong all-rounder, having held positions in serious crime (CID), neighbourhood policing and crime prevention. She is also hugely community-focussed and dedicated this year’s Lecture to the often-controversial subject of public understanding of policing.
“There is a lot of commentary about the role of policing – and if we have strayed from our mission and ought to ‘get back to basics’,” she said.
“The problem with this ‘back to basics’ message is it fails to explain to our communities the complexities and the challenges we are facing.
“I don’t think it does us any favours when we are trying to build trust and confidence with our communities.”