“When we first receive a job from a 999 call at first it’s a surge of adrenaline - your mind is racing thinking of all of the possible outcomes and what's expected of you. Then you arrive, your mind clears, your training kicks in and you take control of the situation. All while keeping in mind who might be a victim and what support they may need. It’s exciting and rewarding knowing I’m having a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Alex, Police Officer

As a police officer, you will hold one of the most vital roles within our community. The public face of Sussex Police, you will ensure we’re fulfilling our commitment to keep communities safe and feeling safe, that we identify and protect vulnerable people and are continually preventing and responding to harm.

You will deal with an array of situations, working in a fast-paced environment where no two shifts will be the same. From tracking down known criminals to the sensitive delivery of difficult news; you’ll be the person everyone looks to for help and guidance.

With major cities, ports, rural villages and an international airport; there’s a lot of ground to cover. Our officers are attached to:

  • Brighton and Hove
  • East Sussex
  • West Sussex
  • Operations Command
  • Public Protection

As a 24/7 service, police officers typically work 40 hours per week, in shifts, including weekends and bank holidays. We aim to offer part-time and flexible options and are currently reviewing how this can be done - an example shift pattern can be viewed at the bottom of the page.

With the launch of our new entry routes into policing, we’ve enhanced our training. While remaining focused on practical policing, with the majority of development taking place on the job alongside experienced colleagues, this vocational approach will better equip recruits to meet the demands of modern policing. New topics include digital policing, safeguarding and identifying risk.

The starting salary for officers is £22,902 on our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship or £26,280 for the Degree Holder Entry Programme (both include £1,500 South East Allowance). There are also many opportunities for progression within Sussex Police. Whether you wish to move through the ranks, or specialise in an area of policing which interests you, you will be encouraged and supported to achieve your ambitions.

Case studies

Jaimine Shahid .jpg

PC Jaimine Shahid was one of 47 new recruits to join Sussex Police in September 2020, funded through the Government’s Police Uplift Programme and local precept. She is currently undergoing her 13-week training programme before moving to operational policing in a Divisional Coaching Unit in December.

Prior to joining the Force, Jaimine worked as a police enquiry officer at Crawley Police Station and before this she was a pharmacy dispenser. Both of these roles were chosen to give her experience in dealing with members of the public, which would assist in her dream of becoming a police officer.

Jaimine has set herself the goal of joining the Safeguarding Investigations Unit in the future and also hopes to work towards breaking down barriers between the public and the police.

She explains: “As cliché as this may sound, I have always wanted to join the police. Not because of the salary, power or privilege, but because I want to break down the barriers that some people feel between the public and the police. At the end of the day, we ARE the community, we just wear a uniform. 

“I come from a Bangladeshi background, and know that within some communities, the perception of police, for a wide variety of reasons – is negative. My goal is to show these communities that Police are here to help and that we are part of their community, not working in isolation.  I truly believe we need more officers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to truly achieve this, so hope I can be an inspiration for others to join.

“My Attestation Day, when I formally became a police officer, was the biggest day of my life. I couldn’t be more proud of myself and the fact that all my hard work has paid off. Longer –term, I want to join the Safeguarding team. My sense of compassion and my desire to help vulnerable people means I think I could make a real difference there.”

Reece Simmons.jpg

PC Reece Simmons joined Sussex Police in March 2020 through the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) programme. He’s undertaking three years of study, whilst carrying out operational work, and is currently based in Uckfield, working on a response unit.

On his first shift on response within the coaching unit, he was the arresting officer in a domestic incident involving a vulnerable person. An adult male had assaulted his elderly mother and father while drunk. He had to draw on the knowledge he had gained from his classroom learning, to make careful decisions about the best way to approach the situation, and eventually arrested the man, whilst putting various safeguarding support in place.

Reece explains: “I was anxious about the first job I attended as arresting officer, it was clearly a sensitive situation with people that needed specialist support, but once we arrived I realised how much training and legislative knowledge had actually sunk in from my time with the trainers at Sussex Police HQ. I was extremely satisfied with the outcome. Knowing that every experience people have with the police is usually a memorable one, it was nice realising that on that day we were there to help the people that needed it."

Reece served in the Army for five years before applying to join the police.  Based in Wiltshire, he served as a Lance Corporal in the Royal Tank Regiment, working as part of a tank crew before moving into a specialist squadron. He knew he then either wanted to go to university to get a degree, or join the police. The PCDA allowed him to achieve both.  Reece believes his military experience provided him with valuable skills and experience to move into the policing role he had always wanted.

Reece said: “I really enjoyed my time in the military but I’ve always wanted to be a police officer. The army was a great stepping stone to get to where I wanted to be.

“I’ve never been somebody who would want to be behind a desk all day, I like to be out experiencing new things. I found that within the military but even more so in the police. It’s very exciting – you never know what each day will bring, but it’s rewarding at the same time.

“My time on response has been overwhelming and difficult at times, but satisfying, exciting and enjoyable throughout. I can honestly say I've loved every second of it.”

Beth Towers.jpg

PC Beth Towers joined Sussex Police in March 2020. She was one of the first new recruits to join as part of the Government’s National Police Uplift Programme and entered policing just weeks after the first Covid-19 national lockdown was declared.

Beth had previously worked as a PCSO in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton for seven years and decided to apply to be a police officer as she enjoyed policing work but wanted a new challenge.

Having completed her initial training at HQ, Beth is now working with the Force’s Divisional Coaching Units, allowing her to carry out crucial policing duties with the guidance and support she needs from an experienced officer and coach, before she becomes operationally independent.

Currently based in Chichester, she has a longer-term goal of joining the Safeguarding and Investigations Unit as a detective, working to protect the most vulnerable adults and children.

Despite only being out on division for a few months, Beth has already made a real impact and gained a huge amount of experience as a police officer. She has been involved in a number of incidents that have required the knowledge and expertise she has gained as a PC to help and support members of the public.

Beth explains, “For me, the most significant incident we have been to since joining our coaching unit was when we responded, alongside other officers, to reports of a baby being physically abused in the street. We took him into police protection and got him the medical care he needed.

“It was decided he was to go into foster care. It was a very difficult decision as taking a baby away from their mother is obviously a last resort, but in this case I believe it was the right one and meant that we were able to protect the baby from harm.

“The variety has been incredible. I’ve assisted with a drugs warrant, I’ve returned an elderly lady home who suffers with dementia and was lost and confused, and of course I’ve been dealing with Coronavirus enforcement since I began operational work.

“I definitely see my future in safeguarding investigations because you get to work with people longer-term and see things through to resolution. We know that our work makes a real difference to people, and being able to see this through from the start of their call to us, would be extremely rewarding.”

Example PC shift pattern

Week

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

1

0700-1530

0700-1530

1500-2400

1500-2400

2100-0700

2100-0700

RD

2

RD

RD

RD

0700-1530

0700-1730

1700-0400

1500-2330

3

2300-0700

2300-0700

RD

RD

RD

RD

0700-1530

4

0700-1530

1500-2400

1500-2400

2300-0700

2100-0700

RD

RD

5

RD

RD

0700-1530

0700-1530

1700-0400

1700-0400

2300-0700

6

2300-0700

RD

RD

RD

RD

0700-1730

0700-1530

7

1500-2400

1500-2400

2300-0700

2300-0700

1800-0200

RD

RD

8

RD

0700-1530

0700-1530

1500-2400

1700-0400

2100-0700

2300-0700

9

RD

RD

RD

0800-1600

0700-1730

0700-1730

1500-2330

10

1500-2400

2300-0700

2300-0700

RD

RD

RD

RD

11

0700-1530

0700-1530

1500-2400

1500-2400

2100-0700

2100-0700

RD

12

RD

RD

RD

0700-1530

0700-1730

1700-0400

1500-2330

13

2300-0700

2300-0700

RD

RD

RD

1000-1800

0700-1530

14

0700-1530

1500-2400

1500-2400

2300-0700

2100-0700

RD

RD

15

RD

RD

0700-1530

0700-1530

1700-0400

1700-0400

2300-0700

16

2300-0700

RD

RD

RD

1000-1800

0700-1730

0700-1530

17

1500-2400

1500-2400

2300-0700

2300-0700

RD

RD

RD

18

RD

0700-1530

0700-1530

1500-2400

1700-0400

2100-0700

2300-0700

19

RD

RD

RD

0800-1600

0700-1730

0700-1730

1500-2330

20

1500-2400

2300-0700

2300-0700

RD

RD

RD

RD