Jemma Stanford 900x400 - Jemma stood infront of the West Midlands Police logo

Jemma Stanford

Law with Criminology - LLB (Hons)

Jemma was specifically interested in criminal law before coming to university, and, thanks to BCU, she is able to study a Law with Criminology degree with us, which has enabled her to undertake a professional placement with the WMP (West Midlands Police).

“I began studying law at sixth form and fell in love with it from there, so I decided to continue this onto university. I specialised in Law with Criminology because it is criminal law that fascinates me most, and it is that particular area that I aspire to have my career within.

One challenge I have faced is gaining legal work experience, which is so important to make yourself an employable candidate for law firms. With BCU being 7th in the UK for employability, I have been offered so many opportunities to work both internally and externally to the University, in order to gain the real-life exposure that I need. Trying to gain relevant experience is very competitive, but I did manage to secure a top placement with the WMP, thanks to the Careers+ team and my academic tutors.

During my time at WMP, I have acted as an advocate to encourage volunteering across the West Midlands, among students and young people, businesses, other police forces, the armed forces and many more. I have worked alongside the Citizens in Policing team to double the size of our Cadet Scheme, which changes the lives of young people aged 13-17 all across the West Midlands. The aim is to target vulnerable young people across the West Midlands in order to divert them away from a life of crime and inspire them to achieve.

I have managed events and trips from small-scale outings, such as park knife sweeps for a unit and awareness workshops around discrimination, up to force-wide events such as the Remembrance Day parade and the Cadet Excellence Awards, where I gained the experience of liaising with senior staff and officers such as the Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable, the Police and Crime Commissioner and many more.

In addition, I have also managed my own Police Support Volunteers portfolio where I worked with various departments all across the force to design and risk-assess volunteer roles for recruitment to advertise. I have been successful in creating six new volunteer roles over the past nine months and, therefore, have brought into the organisation many more volunteers with expertise around mental health, restorative justice and forensics.

My time with the WMP is one I will never forget. It’s allowed me to gain confidence as well as vital knowledge to take into my last year of uni as well as my future career, and I would advise anyone who is studying at BCU, to look into undertaking a year in industry.

'I AM BCU’ means that I am proud of my education and the experiences I have had. To me, it means to thrive and be driven to success, since BCU has given me the flexibility to make my future look however I want it to, and given me the stepping stones to get there.”

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