Chichester women join Sussex Police as force sees 'largest intake of women'

Two Chichester women have been sworn-in to begin their journey to becoming police officers.

Ani Abello and Donna Mckenzie were formally sworn-in at an attestation ceremony on Tuesday (January 11) at East Sussex National Golf Club.

It is the largest intake to the force in recent years with 76 new recruits taking their first steps into policing and, for the first time, sees more women (53.6 per cent) join through this route than men.

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In addition to this ten per cent of the intake are people from Black, Asian and Minority backgrounds.

Seventy-six new recruits have taken their first steps into policing after being formally sworn-in at an attestation ceremony on Tuesday (11 January) at East Sussex National Golf Club.

Ani Abello, 33, from Chichester said: "I have recently joined Sussex Police as a police officer through the Degree Holder Entry Programme after seven years in Health and Social Care recruitment.

"A policing career always fascinated me – growing up in the Philippines where crime is rampant, I felt the need to help, especially those who are most vulnerable in society.

"However, I did not think I had the pathway to pursue policing until the launch of the new entry routes. I want to help in any way I can to make our communities safer, for those who live in them to feel heard and valued regardless of their backgrounds.

"Ultimately, as a police officer, I am hoping to grow both professionally and personally to further aid those who need my service most. I feel very proud to represent the Filipino community, particularly Filipino women, within Sussex Police."

Ani Abello, 33, from Chichester

Donna Mckenzie, 39, from Chichester said: "I wanted to be a police officer ever since leaving school but life took a different path. However, now that my son is a teenager I applied and I have been lucky enough to get a second chance to do the job I always wanted to do."

Family and friends were unable to attend the event due to Covid restrictions, but could watch the live stream of the ceremony which allowed them to submit supportive comments to the new recruits, some from as far away as Chicago Airport.

The new recruits will dedicate their time to keeping communities in Sussex safe, and are the latest to join through Operation Uplift – the national campaign to recruit an extra 20,000 officers across the country.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “Welcome to the new recruits joining Sussex Police. This is the start of an exciting new chapter in their lives, serving our communities here in Sussex.

Donna Mckenzine, 39, from Chichester

“To welcome another large cohort of officers is extremely positive and reassuring to the people of Sussex. It was thoroughly enjoyable to meet the recruits who are from a variety of different backgrounds and life experiences, which we hope can benefit them in their new career.

“This really is a unique career where not only are you changing your life, but helping numerous other people across our county and creating a strong bond with the team in which you work. In my role I am privileged to hear some incredible stories and outstanding achievements which focus on our goals of protecting communities, catching criminals and delivering an outstanding service.

“It’s also important to highlight that last week the latest recruitment window opened and I would encourage anyone aspiring for a fulfilling and challenging career to apply.”

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