West Midlands Police and Coventry University attend careers fair for students

Antisocial Behaviour Coordinator for West Midlands Police Coventry, Nick Mansell, told students at Grace Academy’s careers fair that early intervention is needed in cases of antisocial behaviour where people are frightened, but are not yet the victims of crime.

Joining Coventry University and other organisations from across the region at the Careers Fair for students, Nick Mansell said crime is increasing in the area, but the police are recruiting for more community officers as graduates and apprentices, adding:

“We must do all we can to make sure all members of our communities and especially vulnerable people are protected before distressing situations get out of hand and move on to crime.  My position was only set up in 2010 after a national review of how we deal with cases of antisocial behaviour following the death of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter in 2007.  I wholeheartedly believe in the job I’m doing and that I’m making a real difference.”

West Midlands Police recruit officers across Coventry and the whole of the West Midlands throughout the year and is now giving successful non-degree holding candidates the opportunity to work towards a degree in Policing during their first three years of training.

The police constable degree apprenticeship means all new recruits will ‘earn while they learn’ by studying for a policing degree while doing vocational learning, on the job, in force. Explaining what the job entails, Vicky Hobbs, Young Person’s Officer, said:

“One of my greatest challenges was when I was confronted with a lady holding a gun.  I wasn’t sure if it was loaded or not and had to diffuse the situation by myself.  As an officer, you are trained to deal with situations like this.  You get to work with different people every day from a range of communities and backgrounds who are facing difficult challenges and help them through times of need.

“This is why police officers need to be able to talk to anyone, have a confidence in their own ability, and not be phased by situations or conflict that mean you have to think outside the box.”

As a Young Person’s Officer, Vicky Hobbs regularly visits schools and added:

“If you can tackle situations early then you can point people in the right direction and it’s logical that you can help to prevent them from having problems in the future.  When young people are still at school, they like coming to speak to us.”

Talking about the rise in the number of students opting to take a degree, Kate Iwaniszewski, UK Recruitment Team, Coventry University, said:

“Degrees are recognised internationally and can give you global skills and competence.  Coventry is particularly famous for engineering, as well as nursing and therapy, and was rated Level Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework.”

Advising students about how to write their personal statements and be successful in interviews, Kate added:

“Personal statements that stand out from the crowd must show a student’s passion for the subject. If you have had a part-time job related to the subject, then make a space for that.  Good candidates are well-rounded, involved in societies and clubs, and show commitment through a wide range of interests.  At interview you need to be able to elaborate on key elements of your personal statement competently and confidently.”

The Careers Fair at Grace Academy Coventry was organised by teacher Seta Bassi, who said:

‘Events like this allow students to explore possibilities and opportunities, planting the seed and enabling them to find out what industry expects of them.  We have a range of further education institutions represented including Warwick University and Coventry University and we hope this will raise aspirations. Our students can go there if they get it right so hopefully this event has made them think about the future.”