IPA UK’s Martin Turner investigates new recruitment ideas

15 Nov 2018

recruitment2I met German IPA member Philipp Kurz last year at the Gimborn Talks, my first IPA event. Philipp is the media/marketing board member for his local branch in Münster. He is also on the National Board in Germany and is instrumental in taking the push for young members forward both within Germany and across the IPA as a whole. His passion and innovation is inspiring and is probably the reason I became so passionate about the IPA.

I now lead a Young Members’ Forum within Section UK to gather ideas and opinions and ultimately improve the recruitment and retention of young members from within the police service. As part of this commitment and to try and work out how we can replicate the ideas in the UK, I attended an event at the Police Academy in Lille, France, last year.

This time, following on from the Lille trip, Philipp had arranged a similar event in the beautiful city of Münster, Germany. He invited several friends and colleagues from European countries to travel to Münster and assist staffing a recruitment stand at the intake of the local university.

Having settled into the local police school accommodation on Thursday, the next morning we headed to the local university to help Philipp and his fellow local branch member Walter set up their stand, next to the two Police Unions. It was impressive to see the banners, leaflets and items for sale laid out on the stall. Something we really need to up our game with in the UK!

recruitment3We joined Philipp as he delivered a welcome speech to some 170 student police officers and then helped staff the stall – explaining the benefits of the IPA to those students brave enough to speak to us! It was good to see many students take membership forms away and more than a handful sign up there and then.

We then headed to the local police headquarters, viewing the custody facilities (immaculate), control room, shooting range and vehicles. The evening saw us attending a traditional Brauhaus, meeting Philipp’s wife and another local IPA member. After a traditional and delicious meal washed down with far too much German beer it was time to hit the town.

The Saturday saw us attend an IPA event at a local distillery. Although possibly the last thing our small delegation from France, Belgium, Holland and the UK wanted to do after the night/morning before…in traditional IPA fashion we braved it! Several drams of Whisky later, we emerged into the sun – possibly cured, possibly even worse for wear – and headed back to Münster.

On our last day, Sunday, we were very kindly welcomed at Philipp’s house where his wife helped him feed us an exceptional brunch. After a lovely walking tour of Münster, it was all too quickly time to head home again.

My thanks go to Philipp and IPA Münster for their exceptional hospitality and generosity. The event further inspired me to consider how section UK can access new officers at source. With over 43 different police forces in England and Wales alone, it is a challenge to replicate accessing so many new officers at once, and all ideas are very much welcome!

Martin Turner, IPA UK