Sussex Police welcomed the next intake of police constables and detective constables to Sussex Police on Tuesday 4 July.
The 50 new officers were attested at a ceremony at East Sussex National Hotel on Tuesday (4 July). The officers were joined by friends and family along with Chief Constable Jo Shiner, Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne OBE, High Sheriff of West Sussex, Mr Andy Bliss QPM, Magistrate Lloyd Hanks JP and Director of People Services Adrian Rutherford, who compered the evening.
The new intake started their first week of training on 26 June before getting hands on experience in week 16 and being allocated to their permanent stations to start with neighbourhood and response teams across Sussex.
New career path option for aspiring police officers
The 50 officers will follow three different study paths on route to becoming a fully qualified constable or detective. This intake was the first in Sussex for some years, to be offered the option of a non-degree path, called the Initial Police Learning Development Programme Plus (IPLDP+). The non-degree scheme is now offered alongside other entry routes which provides a greater choice to aspiring police officers.
One of the IPLDP+ recruits Kevin Creasey, a former PCSO explains what attracted him to the non-degree path:
“I didn't want to take a degree. I wanted to get out on division and get stuck in without the worry of all the extra university work that would be needed.
“I started as a PCSO which is a good route for learning how to engage within the community and assisting where I could. Becoming an officer was a natural progression, bringing the skills learnt and adapting them. I look forward to going back into neighbourhood policing.
“It is important to bring the trust back with the public. If they do not talk to us, we don't know what is going on and can't fix the issues. I can't wait, there is no job like policing!”
The new interim non-degree route (IPLDP+) was introduced across Sussex Police and Surrey Police this year, ahead of the College of Police’s similar route which is currently in development.
Nearly half the officers (21) will be following the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship route which results in a degree whilst learning and earning, 18 officers will be taking the newly available Initial Police Learning Development Programme (also learn and earn) and the remaining 11 will embark on the Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme path.
Sussex Police recruited an additional 1,067 officers during the four years of ‘Operation Uplift’, the Government’s initiative to increase police officers nationally by 20,000; as well as achieving an additional 250 officers funded by the precept, increasing the force’s total to 3,166 officers. This new intake will support the force in maintaining this level of officers through 2023/2024, to replace those who retire or leave.
Sam Phillips was one of the 50 officers attested and explains why he joined Sussex Police and what he’s looking forward to in his new career:
“I joined Sussex specifically firstly because of the recruitment process. I had applied to a few different forces and by far, got the best feeling from Sussex. This was mainly down to the recruitment team who communicated very promptly all the time and were always happy to speak on the phone if you needed.
“Also as Sussex is such a large area with cities like Brighton and very rural areas as well I thought it would provide a good mixture, with also the added challenges of Gatwick which interested me.
“I have had lots of jobs previously including bar work, catering, delivery driving and had also done a year as a prison officer during university which gave me lots of skills, I would need in the police service.
“Policing has been an interest of mine since a young age. I think the aspects that attract me the most is the fact that every day is different and provides a variety like no other job. You know that every day you will be making a difference to the people in your communities, which makes the job very rewarding. It’s a career for life as there are so many different avenues you can go once qualified and such a wide range of things you can do.”
Chief Constable Jo Shiner said:
"The attestation is a momentous stage in the career of our new recruits, and one that is viewed with immense proudness by not only the recruits themselves, but by their families and friends.
"Policing is the best job in the world. No day is the same and our recruits can look forward to a feeling of real achievement after every shift, knowing they've played a valued part in keeping Sussex safe and making a positive difference in our communities.
"The role isn't easy. Determination, resilience, and an unwavering desire to do what is right for others are cornerstones of our force. It is a real privilege to attend every attestation and speak to each recruit, who come to us from all types of experiences and backgrounds. I look forward to following their careers and I am thrilled that they have decided to serve our communities in Sussex."
Director of People Services, Adrian Rutherford welcomed the new officers and said: "I’m delighted we are now able to offer a further option of a non-degree route for future officers. Policing has changed significantly over the last decade, and we are happy to be able to expand the variety of entry routes available here in Sussex. It provides more choice and flexibility for those wishing to make a positive difference as a police officer.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, OBE said: “It is always an honour to witness the swearing in of new recruits as they pledge to serve the public without fear or favour and uphold the finest traditions of British policing.
“I look forward to seeing these new officers across our county engaging with their local communities, preventing crime and making residents feel safer in Sussex.
“It is also good to see that 18 officers have joined via the new interim non-degree route: the Initial Police Learning Development Programme launched in Sussex earlier this year. To create a truly diverse and representative police service it’s essential that we provide innovative routes into policing to ensure all those who want to join up have the opportunity to do so.”
Could you make a real difference in the community?
With an increased variety of routes into policing available in Sussex to become a police officer or detective constable, you can discover which one is right for you on the dedicated recruitment webpage.
Sussex Police’s recruitment team also offer 1:1 conversations to answer any questions about starting your journey in policing. If you’d like to make a real difference by delivering an outstanding service, protecting communities and catching criminals, then get in touch with the careers team by emailing [email protected] to arrange at a time and date that suits you.