How does a degree prepare you for police life on the beat?

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From: Hilary Andrews, Wentworth Court, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

So now we need our policemen to have university degrees (Yorkshire Post, January 20). What nonsense. Nurses have now to have university degrees instead of learning on the wards.

Many of them now think they are above catering to the patients’ basic needs such as giving out and emptying bed pans, feeding and talking to them.

The Post Office fast-tracked university graduates into management positions where they had to be taught the detail of the job by men and women who started at the bottom and knew every detail of how the postal service worked. What a disaster that was.

Our best policemen will rise from the ranks and thus understand the men they command.

No university degree will give them that. Once they have been through the ranks, they could then be sent on courses that suited their particular skills if that was thought necessary.

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

READING about the various penalties dished out for offences committed by the population (Bernard Ingham, Yorkshire Post, January 15), I cannot help but feel the whole justice system is tilted towards the advantage of real criminals.

Go shoplifting and you may get a caution from the police.

Do a few miles an hour over the speed limit and you will be fined or have to attend an expensive speed awareness course. Take your child on holiday during school term time and you will get a hefty fine, get drunk and smash someone in the face you may get a night in the cells before being warned not to do it again.

As a young policeman in 1956, I arrested a burglar whom the householder had hit with a poker.

He got a 10-year preventative detention sentence because he had committed other burglaries and was 30-years-old. Later in life I was a solicitors’ clerk and dealt with a man who had admitted 29 like offences – he got two and a half years. It doesn’t make sense to be soft on crime as it just encourages more criminals.

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

SO it is envisaged that in future, it will be necessary to have a degree before becoming a police constable.

Can anyone tell me what difference this will make 
when apprehending a knife-wielding villain, or more likely, when a drunken teenager is 
being sick on your shoes on a Saturday night?

It’s not all cyber-crime, you know.

Of course, if there were such a thing as a degree in common sense, imagination and remembering that a policeman 
is the servant of the public 
and not the other way around, there might perhaps be more point to it.