Police Training in England
(Extract from Report on a Visit to Scotland Yard)
1.All police recruits are on a two year probation on entry. They undergo a twenty week residential training course which involves academic, practical and physical elements. A considerable proportion of the time is devoted to practical examples of police work. There is a drop-out rate of 7% which compares very favourably with that of 20%-25% a couple of years ago. This reduction is due, in a large measure, to the recent improvements in the selection procedures. After successfully completing the 20 week course, recruits are posted to stations within, if possible, reasonable travelling distance of their homes.
2.Training, to some extent, depends on local circumstances. However, all recruits attend a one month practical course under a Sergeant or Inspector. This is a group course and may involve spending some time attached to other police stations. The normal number coming out of the training school is 20/25 and they are spread over 26 stations. Following upon this month, each recruit is assigned to a “parent” constable and spends one month working closely with this constable. This is called “learning beats” and is designed to give the recruit practical experience and to give him an opportunity to get to know his area. During this period the senior constable makes regular reports on the recruit to the Station Sergeant. After this month the recruit can patrol and operate on his own.
3.Training is on-going for the remainder of the two year probation period. Two days each month are devoted to training and an examination is held on a monthly basis. There is a final examination at the end of the probationary period.
4.After probationary training, formal in-service training is almost entirely absent unless a constable wishes to specialise or seek promotion. The lack of training at this stage is under examination at present and changes are expected in the foreseeable future. This is in line with the reviews and changes which have been recently introduced in selection and basic training.
Procedures for up-dating information
5.Each recruit receives an Instruction Book which contains all the basic knowledge that a police constable requires. In addition, a copy of the General Orders and Regulations are available to all constables at an annual rental of £10. These books are up-dated on a regular basis with police orders issued each week on changes in legislation and police procedures. There is a collation section within the Force dealing with the regular up-dating of these books. All future promotions will be on examinations based on the General Orders and Regulations followed, at certain senior levels, by interviews.