"There's so much support on offer to help achieve your dreams"

Despite not considering herself to be academic, PC 996 Niamh Harriman has recently graduated from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) with a First-Class Honours degree after completing the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).

Niamh knew this was her dream job from an early age: after all, it’s in her blood. Dad Kieron is an officer with Leicestershire Police as is her step-mum.

Seeing her dad set off for work in his uniform never failed to make Niamh proud and now he is  equally proud of his daughter for following on in his footsteps - as the photos attached show.

Niamh Harriman and dad

Niamh joined Leicestershire Police as a Special Constable in 2018 and is thoroughly glad she did because it gave her a real flavour for the job and what to expect.

She describes getting the call to confirm she was part of the first PCDA cohort as “the best day of my life, it was so surreal I just couldn’t believe it.”

Niamh continues: “I never particularly wanted to go to university. I knew completing a degree whilst working full time would be difficult but with hard work and determination I have proved that it is possible. There were times I didn’t think I would be able to get through it but receiving support from DMU, the force and my family kept me going.

“People have commented on how much my confidence and positivity have improved over the last three years. I’m so proud of what I have achieved and accepting my degree was my proudest moment.”

Niamh Harriman car pic
Niamh wrote her dissertation on the effectiveness of the force’s mental health triage car, with mental health being of keen interest to her. When thinking about her future career plans she would like to explore the firearms and dog units but for now she is happy as a response officer, working with a team she describes as her best friends.

When asked what advice she would give to someone thinking of joining the police via the PCDA route, Niamh says: “I would recommend to give it ago, it might not be for everyone but you’ll never know unless you try.

“If you like a challenge and working as part of a team this could be the role for you. If you’re not academic please don’t let that put you off as anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

“There is so much support on offer from the university and the police, they will help you to achieve your dreams.”

Posted on Monday 7th February 2022

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