Cambridgeshire Police Federation has welcomed the news that the Home Secretary is set to ditch a blanket requirement for all police officers to have degrees.
Suella Braverman said she would ensure a non-degree entry route into policing remained open and continued to deliver “officers of the highest calibre”.
The move comes after a backlash from chief constables, police and crime commissioners and Police Federation leaders who all warned the degree requirement was having a serious impact on recruitment options.
Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom said: “Suella Braverman has talked about common sense in policing and we are glad that she has now shown some common sense herself.
“I don’t think you need a degree to be a good police officer and I don’t think we should be turning away perfectly good people because they haven’t got one.
“On a practical level, our members work extremely hard to keep up with the demands of the job and want to see new recruits giving support where it is needed, not stuck in a classroom.
“We back a return to traditional training methods where officers can hit the beat after 20 weeks’ training.”
Since last year, recruits have been required to have a degree or to join as an apprentice while they earn a qualification but police chiefs and PCCs warned that up to 10 per cent of officers were studying rather than fighting crime on the frontlines.
The College of Policing stood by the change and insisted it gave officers recognition and accreditation as professionals.
But Ms Braverman told a conference for police chiefs that she had asked the college to consider options for a new non-degree entry route, alongside the process for recruits who took higher education.
She said: “I have asked the college to build on their work by considering options for a new non-degree entry route, to deliver officers of the highest calibre, which will complement the existing framework.
“In the meantime, the current transitional non degree entry route will be kept open. Our police force must be open to those who do not have a degree or want one.
“And I will take the scissors to any red tape that gets in your way.”