It was realised when the force was first started that some form of training was necessary before a recruit was fit to be sent out on duty on the beat. For many years this training was given by keeping recruits at headquarters for one month in what was designated a Reserve Force. They received a certain amount of training in police duties and in foot drill each day and spent the rest of the time on beat duty in company with an experienced constable. The number of hours spent on beat duty increased each week until at the end of the month the recruits were deemed fit to be posted to a division.
Except that the length of time spent at headquarters increased to about ten weeks, and no outside duty was performed during this period, little alteration in methods of training occurred before 1929. Then the system of initial training was changed, and recruits on joining the force were sent to a Police Training School run by one of the larger forces such as Birmingham City. After a course lasting three months, recruits were posted to a division. Some training of specialists, such as members of the C.I.D., was started, and when motor patrol commenced in 1935 drivers were sent to police driving schools.
Recruiting was suspended during the war, but after hostilities ceased a more comprehensive system of police training was introduced all over the country. District Training Centres were established to which recruits from all forces throughout the district were sent for an initial period of three months, to be followed by other shorter periods during their two years probation. In addition to this, in Warwickshire a Training Department under an inspector was set up at headquarters at which all recruits receive further instruction in police matters. Frequent refresher classes are held which are attended by both probationary constables and more experienced officers.
In 1948 the Police College for the training of higher ranks was set up within the county at Ryton-on-Dunsmore. This is attended by officers from all over the country, and a number of officers from Warwickshire have been among them.
In training, we have moved a long way from the initial month’s attachment to headquarters. Great attention and adequate time is now given to all aspects of training and if, as a result of anything he learns, or any aptitude he shows, the policeman wishes to specialise, he is given every opportunity to do so.