Mollie Edwards and Jess Sutherland – from Llanrwst and Menai Bridge respectively – both graduated this summer and are now looking forward to starting their careers in policing with North Wales Police this autumn.
Jess takes up her story: “I am about to start my new role as a Police Constable for North Wales Police in October, at 38 years of age!
“At the age of 17 I left North Wales and moved away to Boston, Massachusetts. A year later, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to work at a juvenile correctional facility. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the young offenders and decided this was definitely the path I wanted to pursue career-wise. I worked there for many years and gained multiple skills and numerous qualifications: from safeguarding vulnerable people to lifeguard training.
“I have two daughters aged 16 and 10 - who were both born in the United States. In 2017 I made the decision to leave America and bring my girls back to North Wales. After a year’s settling in period, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in policing, but soon realised that I would need a degree if I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming an officer.
“I went to Coleg Llandrillo and met with policing tutor Dewi Roberts, who gave me all the information that I needed. I took his advice and enrolled on the first Professional Policing degree course, which is delivered by Coleg Llandrillo and Bangor University.
“I was so nervous about getting back into education at the age of 35, but I did it and have never looked back. Being the oldest student in the class was a little daunting to start with. Fortunately, those feelings soon slipped away, as my other classmates and the lecturers were fantastic. The support I received throughout my three years was exceptional. During this time, I also became a Special Constable with North Wales Police, mainly serving in the Bangor area.
“This summer I attended my graduation ceremony. As I put on my cap and gown surrounded by my two daughters and family, I realised that this was by far the proudest day of my life. I graduated with a 2:1 degree and now look forward to a career in policing with North Wales Police.”
Fellow jetsetter and classmate Mollie continued: "I completed a Level 3 BTEC Public Services course at Coleg Llandrillo in 2014, gaining a Distinction grade. I then contemplated doing the Policing degree but decided to work for a while, in order to save up and go travelling. I travelled alone for 15 months, around Australia, southeast Asia, America and Canada. I then returned home to work in a GPs’ surgery, before deciding to apply for a place on the college’s brand-new (at the time) Professional Policing Degree course, which started in September 2019.
“During my first year on the course, I decided to apply to be a Special Constable with North Wales Police. I was accepted and worked in the Gwynedd south area. This experience provided me with a valuable insight into operational policing.
“I have recently graduated from the Professional Policing degree course with First Class Honours. I am currently going through the process to join North Wales Police as a Police Constable, hoping to start the training in October 2022.
“I have been fully supported throughout my journey by representatives from Coleg Llandrillo, Bangor University and North Wales Police and am now looking forward to my career in policing.”
Coleg Llandrillo’s Professional Policing degree course tutor Dewi Roberts said: "I taught Mollie at BTEC level and also on the degree course. She was an excellent student and has the attributes to be an outstanding police officer. I met Jess when she came to discuss her options as regards gaining a degree so she could become a police officer. Jess, who I also taught on the degree course – was also a first-rate student, and all the staff from the department wish them both the best for the future.”
Dr Tim Holmes from Bangor University added: “I first met Jess and Mollie when they both started on the degree course and visited the university for the first time. After that, I taught both of them criminological theory and cybercrime during the second year of the degree. Both showed a keen understanding of criminology and the challenges associated with policing society. Their positive and proactive attitude towards their studies was nice to see especially as they had to contend with studying during Covid lockdown. I wish them both all the best as they embark on their careers.”
For more information on Policing courses at Coleg Llandrillo, contact the college’s Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.