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When the going gets tough, contact officers are there to help. Whether it’s taking a report of a missing person, responding to a burglary or supporting someone in crisis; our contact officers play a vital role in helping keep our communities safe, identifying and protecting the most vulnerable and preventing harm.
For many people, you’ll be the first point of contact with the police. You’ll be a calm, reassuring voice in people’s hour of need. Asking the right questions, listening for vital details and recording information; all while monitoring two screens.
Being a contact officer is certainly not your typical nine-to five call centre role; no two calls are the same. You will deal with emergency 999 calls, non-emergency 101 calls, online reporting and social media. In return, we promise you a good starting salary, plus an unsocial shift allowance, great training experiences, opportunities for progression and the pride that comes from helping others.
Working in a fast-paced, 24/7 environment, being a contact officer is a demanding role where you need to be patient and comfortable working under pressure and problem-solving. You’ll be the sort of person who relishes a challenge. Thinking quickly is imperative, as is multi-tasking.
You’ll find yourself engaging with people of all ages and backgrounds so you’ll need to be able to build rapport quickly, show empathy and communicate clearly at all times. Enquiries can range greatly, including some of the most difficult situations you can think of. You’ll need to find the balance between compassion and not becoming emotionally involved; having the resilience to deal with the rough and the smooth on a daily basis. However, you will always be supported.
Our contact officers are an integral part of our frontline, supporting the divisions of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex, as well as specialist departments including Public Protection, Firearms and Counter-Terrorism. You’ll work closely with your police officer and staff colleagues; making a difference, together.
No two calls are ever the same. You could find yourself:
Obtaining and recording accurate information regarding a live or historic situation.
Handling large volumes of calls, emails or social media enquires – we receive on average 70,000 per month.
Responding to several emergency situations simultaneously.
Acting as the main point of contact between the force and the public.
Our contact officers work a 10-week rotating shift pattern on the following schedule:
Two early shifts – 07:00 to 17:00 or 09:00 to 19:00
Two late shifts – 13:00 to 23:00 or 15:00 to 01:00
Two night shifts – 19:00 to 03:00 or 23:00 to 07:00
Four rest days
Upon completion of the full-time training course, we are able to offer part-time working hours, however these will still need to conform to the shift pattern. Term time only hours are not possible with this role and you’ll need to be willing to work some weekends and public holidays.
While customer service experience is a bonus, it’s not necessary as, from your first day with us, you will be supported through great training by brilliant teammates. Overall, you’ll simply want to make a difference, together.
Please note that this role attracts a 24 month tenure, therefore while you can apply for other roles within the force you will not be able to start your new role until the tenure has expired.
When you join Sussex Police, you can expect a career with variety, diversity, challenges, rewards and great learning experiences. This is a vital role which matters to the public, but it also matters to us. As such, we will give you:
A starting salary of at least £23,946 plus an unsocial shift allowance in the region of £7,200 per year.
25 days per year annual leave, rising to 30 days depending on your length of service (annual leave based on 37 hours working week and 7.4 hour day).
Great development experiences that will support future career opportunities and progression.
A competitive benefits package including pension, flexible benefits, employee assistance programme for advice and counselling, access to discounts / savings / cash-back rewards.
Progressive approach to flexible working, enhanced maternity and paternity leave and potential for a career break (after two years’ service).
Part-time working patterns after completion of the full-time training. Flexible working is available Monday through to Sunday, from 08:00 to 13:00, or as a job share on the full shift pattern.
Opportunities to join various support networks, staff associations and sports clubs.
By successfully completing the recruitment process, you will join Sussex Police as a contact officer and will join a 12-week training course; consisting of six weeks' training and six weeks' tutoring where we will support and coach you to become competent in the role.
The training course is full-time, Monday to Friday, working 08:00 to 16:00 for the first six weeks. The remainder of the tutoring phase will be 08:00-16:00 and 12:00-20:00 on a rotating pattern.
Upon completing the training you will work across both 101 and 999 within our contact centre based at Sussex Police Headquarters in Lewes.
Starting your career in our contact centre will provide you with a wide range of skills and experiences which will enable you to either apply to progress within the contact centre – as a controller or supervisor - or apply for a number of different roles across the organisation. You could become a police officer or a PCSO, start an investigative career or work in one of our support departments such as corporate communications or professional development. The possibilities are endless.
The application process consists of six stages and it’s important to note that because of this, the average time from application to appointment is six months. Only by adopting this stringent approach can we ensure we select people who will make great contact officers.
Stage one - online application form: this is where we check your personal details and that all eligibility criteria have been met.
Stage two - online situational judgment assessment: this test has been specifically designed for use in the recruitment of 999 and 101 contact officers. You will be presented audio clips of interactions between contact officers and callers and asked to rate the effectiveness of actions which could be taken in response to the scenario.
Stage three - online competency based questions: you will be asked a series of competency questions based upon the Competency and Values Framework (CVF). Please provide as much detail as possible within the recommended word count.
Stage four - in-force multi-skills assessment: this test is designed to check your competence with multi-tasking. The assessment involves listening to twenty pieces of audio played over a loud speaker. You are required to document what you can hear being said. In between the audio, you will complete a set of basic maths and English questions. You will need to move from document to document until all of the audio sentences have been played.
Stage six - pre-employment checks: this is when we begin our pre-employment checks which consists of a medical questionnaire and vetting. Further information on the checks can be found in the FAQs below.
If your application has been successfully submitted you will receive an email to your registered email address along with your candidate ID. If you have submitted an application but have not received a notification please first check your Spam/Junk folder before emailing firstname.lastname@example.org providing your full name, telephone number and the date you submitted your application.