Click here to apply.

We are open for recruitment from Friday 3 May to Monday 27 May.

Do a job that matters and help keep people safe.

When the going gets tough, our Contact Handlers are there to help. For many people, you’ll be the first point of contact with the police, whether it's taking a report of a missing person or a burglary in progress, to supporting someone in a crisis.

You’ll be a calm, reassuring voice in people’s hour of need. With a cool head, you’ll take the pace of the job in your stride and always give the best service our public deserve.

In return we promise you a good starting salary, excellent training, opportunities for progression and the pride that comes with helping others.

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity within the force and one of the ways we are seeking to increase representation is via bespoke recruitment mentoring scheme for those identifying as black, Asian and minority ethnic. To find out more email

Find out more about life as a Contact Handler here.

Have you got what it takes?

The situations our Contact Handlers manage are as diverse as the communities we serve and providing excellent customer service to members of the public and Sussex Police colleagues is crucial in this role.

Working in a fast-paced 24/7 environment, you must be able to work under pressure, communicate clearly at all times and make critical decisions. You will need to be able to think quickly, ask the right questions, listen for vital details and log information accurately.

Contact Handlers also need to be able to strike the right balance between showing empathy with every caller, while not becoming emotionally involved when dealing with sometimes difficult circumstances.

We also want people from diverse background including those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and those identifying as White Other.

Our Contact Handlers are based within the Force Contact Command and Control department based in Lewes, East Sussex.

This role attracts a 24 month tenure, therefore whilst you can apply for other roles within the force e.g. PC or PCSO, you will not be able to start your new role until the tenure has expired.

Above all, you’ll be calm under pressure and a reassuring voice in people’s hour of need. With a cool head, you’ll take the pace of the job in your stride and always give the best service our public deserve.

Are you eligible?

To apply for the role you will need:

Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the confidence to make decisions and deliver difficult messages.

The ability to work calmly and effectively under pressure, to highlight risks, take control and respond promptly to changing situations and risk assess in a fast-time environment.

The ability to work both effectively as part of a team and to work unsupervised, using your own initiative to solve problems, taking reasoned and responsible decisions considering force policy and best practice.

The ability to commit to a 10 week rotating shift pattern. The role of a Contact Handler operates a 24 hour, 7 day a week service.

What we offer you

This is a vital job that matters to the public, but it also matters to us.

You’ll be hugely important part of the Sussex Police team and, as such, we will give you:

Generous basic pay of £23,361 plus an unsocial hours shift allowance of approximately £7,200 per year.

25 days holiday a year (increasing to 30 days after five years’ service) and access to many additional benefits. Click here for more details.

Opportunities to develop your career and progress within the force (once you have completed two years as a Contact Handler). While many of our Contact Handlers choose to stay in the role or progress to a Controller, there are many opportunities to explore other roles and we will help you develop no matter what your interest.

Excellent training with continuous professional development.

Training and working hours


If you are successful as a Contact Handler you will start a nine week training course where we will support and coach you to become competent in the role. 

If you are considering part time hours within the initial nine week training, we do require you to be full time to complete this training. The full time course is Monday – Friday working 8am to 4pm and midday and 8pm on a rotating pattern.  


The role of Contact Handler works a 10 week rotating shift pattern. 

  • Two early shifts – 7am to 5pm or 9am to 7pm
  • Two late shifts – 1pm to 11pm or 3pm to 1am
  • Two night shifts – 7pm to 3am or 11pm to 7am
  • Four rest days

We do offer part time working which should include a variation of the pattern above. When you attend the Assessment Centre you will have an opportunity to discuss part time working.

How do I apply?

So you want to join us a Contact Handler.

The good news is that we are due to open for recruitment on Friday 3 May to Monday 27 May 2019, to fill November 2019 and February 2020 training courses/intakes.

The application process has several stages and can take up to five months from when you first apply to arriving in the force.

The recruitment stages are as follows:

  • Online application form
  • Shortlist
  • Multi tasking exercise
  • Telephone interview
  • Face to face interview
  • Pre-employment checks
  • Medical questionnaire and vetting form

If you pass all stages the recruitment team will contact you to discuss and agree your potential start date based on your availability and the next available space on a training course.

  • Application reviews and shortlist – week commencing Monday 27 May.
  • Multi tasking exercise – Saturday 8 June or Monday 10 June or Saturday 15 June. Multiple time slots will be available.
  • Telephone interview– Thursday 20 June between 4pm and 8pm
  • Face-to-face competency-based interview - between Tuesday 2 and Thursday 4 July.

Prior to applying please ensure you are available for the dates listed during the recruitment process.

Recruitment Tours

To get a real feel for what it’s like to be a contact handler, come along to one of our recruitment open days at our Lewes Headquarters to find out more about us and our team.

We’ll take you behind the scenes to really find out what our contact handlers do and how our Force Contact, Command and Control department really works.

Simply click on the date which suits you to apply. Spaces are limited and fill up fast – get in quick!

If you experience difficulty booking from a mobile, you may find it easier via a PC. You could also try using a different browser – such as Chrome – or clearing cookies.

Full Eventbrite booking instructions are below. In case of further difficulty, please contact us directly on 01273 404535 Extension 544444 or email



Registrations for Recruitment Open Days close on the Wednesday before each event, they are:

  • 8 May – closes 1 May
  • 14, 15 and 16 May – close 8 May 
  • 21, 22 and 23 May – close 15 May

Further guidance for applicants can be found here

To book a place on a Recruitment Tour please follow the following steps:

  • Select the date you would like to attend.
  • Click on the orange 'select a time' button on the top right. You select the time from a drop down.
  • Select the green 'register' button.
  • Select number of places required and click the 'checkout' button.
  • Enter your details and click the 'complete registration' button.

If you have any other questions about the recruitment process please email


Is there a probationary period?

There is a 12 month probation period during which you will be expected to fulfil your training requirements. The role also has a 2 year tenure period upon commencing employment during which we would not support internal moves to other roles within Sussex Police.

Can I work part-time?

We are advertising for full time and part time posts. We do require you to be full time to complete your initial training course which runs Monday to Friday working 0800 – 1600 and 1200 – 2000 on a rotating pattern. Part-time employees will still need to conform to the shift pattern above (six days of working shifts, four days of rest) but may be able to adapt their hours within this shift pattern. Term time-only hours, are not possible with this role, and you need to be willing to work some weekends and public holidays.

Can I request flexible working?

Once you have 26 weeks service with Sussex Police you will be able to submit a flexible working application. Shift patterns will need to conform to the shift pattern above (six days of working shifts, four days of rest) but may be able to adapt their hours within this shift pattern.

I am disabled, can I access the Contact Centre and Sussex Police Headquarters?

Yes, our Contact Centre and many buildings across Headquarters all have step-free access. If you require any reasonable adjustments please include this on your application form. If you wish to speak with someone regarding this please contact our recruitment team.

I have a problem submitting my application. Who shall I contact?

Please email at the earliest opportunity.

I have not received an email confirming if I have passed or failed?

At the end of each element of the selection process you will receive an email. If you have not received an email please check your junk mail/filter settings in case the emails have been filtered by your spam software. If this is not the case then please contact

How do I contact Sussex Police about my application?

After reading this section, if you still have questions then you can email us at


Are there any age restrictions?

We encourage applications from everyone whether you’re a college leaver or someone wishing to change their career. You'll need to be 18 or over but there is no upper age limit.

I have applied before and was unsuccessful, can I apply again?

Yes, you are able to apply regardless of when you previously applied.

I am not a British Citizen. Can I still apply to join Sussex Police?

You can still apply as long as you are an EEA National or a Swiss National. Commonwealth Citizens and Foreign Nationals are required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. Applicants must have resided in the UK for three continuous years immediately prior to application.

I have motoring offence(s). Can I still apply?

We will need to assess the motoring offences. However, if you have more than six penalty points on your driving licence and/or two or more motoring offences within three years prior to the application date you will not be eligible to apply to join Sussex Police as a Contact Handler.

I have a criminal record. Can I still apply?

Applications will be rejected in all cases where:

• Offences were committed as an adult or juvenile which resulted in a prison sentence (including custodial, suspended or deferred sentence and sentences served at a young offenders’ institution or community home); or
• The applicant is a registered sex offender or is subject to a registration requirement in respect of any other conviction.

For all other convictions or cautions there is a rebuttable presumption** that they should be rejected. In particular, the following would result in rejection:

• Offences where vulnerable people were targeted
• Offences motivated by hate or discrimination
• Offences of domestic abuse.

Although the rebuttable presumption is that these should lead to rejection, there will be cases where this may be disproportionate in the circumstances. For instance, where the offence was committed as a juvenile, it was not serious and the individual has demonstrated a commitment to help individuals or communities in the subsequent years, their vetting acceptance may be justified.

**Both in common law and in civil law, a rebuttable presumption is an assumption made by a court that is taken to be true unless someone comes forward to contest it and prove otherwise. For example, a defendant in a criminal case is presumed innocent until proved guilty.


What does the application form include?

The application form will consist of information about you and a series of competency questions based upon the Competency and Values Framework (CVF). More information regarding the CVF can be found here.

You will be advised at the end of the questionnaire if you have met all the requirements of the form. It is very important that you will follow the instructions as incomplete forms cannot be submitted.

How will I be shortlisted?

The questions within the application form where you gave examples and described your suitability for the role will be reviewed and scored against the key skills, behaviours and competencies for the role as outlined in the job advert and job description. If you are successful you will be invited to attend the assessment centre, if you are unsuccessful we do not normally offer feedback at this point in the selection process.

What can I expect at the multi-tasking exercise?

This stage of the process is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your listening and written skills. This will take place at Sussex Police Headquarters in Lewes.

What can I expect during the telephone interview?

You will be asked to partake in a scenario where you will be expected to play the part of a contact handler. Here you will be assessed on your questioning skills and vocal image.

What can I expect at the face to face interview?

Interviews will be held at Sussex Police Headquarters in Lewes. We use a competency based assessment - competencies are a set of behaviours, functional skills and knowledge that an employee must have or acquire in order to fulfil the requirements of the role successfully.

You will be assessed against the Competency and Values framework. Behavioural competency questions will typically ask you about something that you have done in the past. In order to prepare for this type of question you’ll need to think of specific examples of when you have demonstrated these competencies.

Pre- Employment Checks


You will be asked to complete a confidential medical questionnaire. Depending upon your medical history, we may need to contact your doctor or a specialist for further information.


You will need to complete a vetting form so that we can carry out pre-employment checks.

We will carry out security checks on you and your:
• Spouse/Partner
• Father/Stepfather/Mother’s Partner
• Mother/ Stepmother/Father’s partner
• Brothers/Sisters (full/half/step)
• Children/Children of your partner (only those aged 10 years and over)
• Any other adult living at your address
• Financial Circumstances
• Social Media accounts

Do I have to declare if I was arrested but not charged?

Yes, you must declare if you have ever been subject of a criminal investigation whether or not this lead to a prosecution. Failure to make such declarations will lead to your application being rejected.

What if I have a relative who has convictions?

If your friends or family members are criminals, this must be disclosed. Your application will not be automatically rejected; consideration will be given on a case by case basis.

Can I apply if I’ve been bankrupt?

Yes, you can apply but only if it is three years after bankruptcy debts have been discharged.

Can I apply if I have a County Court Judgement (CCJ)?

Yes, if the judgement has been discharged, you can be considered. If you have an existing judgement, your application will be rejected.

Can I apply if I have an Independent Voluntary Agreement (IVA)?

Applicants with a current IVA will be considered. However the candidate will be required to show that there is an IVA repayment plan in place and that the applicant has maintained regular payments over a significant number of months.

Can I continue with my other business interest?

You must declare any other employment for hire or gain or any other business interests that you intend to maintain when you apply. A decision on whether your business interests are compatible with the role of Contact Handler will be made on the basis of the full information provided during the recruitment and selection process.

Any further questions?

If you have any questions that are not covered by the information above, you can email us at