Case study

Being a
role model

Respect for others, kindness and helping those around him are the ideals that drive Toby Arnold. They are values that he has held since he was a young boy and they’ve grown stronger as he has got older. And he is carrying them with him in his determination to become a police officer.

Shared values

As head boy of his school, Toby strove to be exactly the kind of person that his younger self would have looked up to, taken inspiration from and tried to be like. He says: “I have always had a very strong moral compass.

“In my role as Head Boy, I loved to help guide my peers to be the best version of themselves in everything they did and would go on to do. I often went out on duty at school and made sure that the younger students were treating each other with respect.

“For me, being head boy was all about being that role model and being there for the younger students. And I really believe that police officers should be people that we should look up to. And they should behave in the ideal way that we want the rest of society to behave in as well.”

And, on his Professional Policing course, Toby has loved meeting so many like-minded people, who share his values. He says: “I wanted to become a police officer because I’ve always found it a really exciting thing to do. I think it just goes hand in hand with my wish to help other people.

“I have a really strong belief that people should be able to live their life and enjoy themselves and not have to worry about crime. I’m really glad that, since I started university, it’s definitely the case that the people around me are very passionate about similar things, with regards to the police.

“I think life’s already stressful enough without having to watch your back for criminals. I think that people should just be able to really enjoy themselves and not have to worry about that. And the police should be there in the background all the time, looking out for them.”

Toby's story

Toby Arnold in the University of Derby custody suite talking to fellow policing students, who are in uniform

View Toby's story video transcript

Making the most of opportunities

Toby has impressed the academic team with how he's got involved with various aspects of the course. He even took part in the Policing team’s Instagram takeover. He says: “I hadn’t done anything like it before and was initially unsure and nervous, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feel like I have gained some confidence from taking part.

“University’s about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I have also made sure to get the most out of the opportunities that my course has provided with guest lecturers, making sure I fully take part in any activities and ask any questions that I want to.”

Toby Arnold headshot

I think it’s important that I recognise how far I’ve come in terms of my confidence. After a good few years of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I am now far more confident than I used to be.

Toby Arnold
Policing student

Why choose Derby?

There are lots of reasons why Toby decided to come to the University of Derby. He’s a Derbyshire lad. He was head boy of John Port Spencer Academy in Etwall, just a few miles outside Derby. He was a competitive swimmer with Derventio eXcel Swim Squad in Derby and he now swims for Etwall Eagles. And he’s a member of our University of Derby Swimming Team.

But there was another reason.

“I joined the University of Derby because I felt they provided one of the best professional policing courses,” he explains. “In addition, I'd really like to become a police officer in the region and studying here allows me to do all of my volunteering with Nottinghamshire police, which has been an amazing experience.”

And there’s more: “I also thought the facilities and social aspects of the university looked great as well.”

And he has thrived, achieving firsts in the majority of his modules. He says: “The help and support on the academic side of things is fantastic. I know exactly where I can go to get the quality help I expect to receive.”

Toby Arnold outside One Friar Gate Square
In our custody suite, Toby Arnold talks to fellow policing students, who are wearing uniform

What does the future hold?

Toby knows who he wants to be. And he knows that hitting his small goals will help him reach his big ones. For now, he’s keeping it simple: “To be a respected police officer. An officer that has the trust of his colleagues and an officer that the public has great faith in to sort out their problems and be there for them in their times of need.

"Knowing that I am now actively working towards my dream of becoming a police officer is really special and something which gives me the motivation to succeed."

And maybe he'll have a little time to indulge his passion for adventure. As a swimmer he’s visited places such as Dubai, Luxembourg and Tenerife for competitions and training camps. And, as part of the Scouting movement, he’s been camping all over the country. He can’t wait to get his hiking boots on again and head off into the unknown.

He says: “I love to explore new places and meet new people. People really fascinate me - the way they choose to live their lives, the whole kaleidoscope of different interests that people have and how we all come together to create society.”

And, on a more personal note: “I’m looking forward to gaining even more confidence and continuing to grow as a person. At the end of the day, I constantly strive to get the absolute most out of life and have fun every day.”