Former Shoreham-by-Sea Olympic umpire among new police recruits

A 48-year-old woman from Shoreham-by-Sea is one of the 72 new recruits to have taken her first steps in the police this week.

The new recruits were formally sworn in as police officers on September 28 at an attestation ceremony.

Fifty-four of the new recruits have joined through the three-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and 18 through the two-year Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The new officers will spend nine weeks training at the county police HQ in Lewes before joining dedicated coaching units in police stations countywide.

Frances Block. Photo from Sussex Police. SUS-210210-105339001

Among the new recruits is Frances Block from Shoreham-by-Sea.

Frances has joined the service after a varied career within sport and education. A sixth form sport teacher until 2012, Frances then had the opportunity to umpire the hockey at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

After being a full-time parent she then went on to work at Gatwick Airport and at Glebe Primary School as a sports technician.

Frances has also represented Sussex in cricket and has won the County Championships twice, collecting the trophies from the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace.

Frances said, “I’ve wanted to be a Police Officer since I was three years old so it really is a dream come true and I cannot wait to start. I want to feel like I have contributed to society, to do my bit to help the local community and to make a positive impact.”

Chief constable Jo Shiner said, “Welcoming new recruits into our policing family is always a highlight for us.

“To welcome such a large cohort this week has been fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to personally address the officers today, and look forward to seeing them progress as they embark upon their training. It’s particularly special this week, as we welcome our new officers, whilst also opening recruitment for their colleagues of the future.

“Policing really is a job like no other, offering the chance to not only change your own life but that of countless others who you support. Every day I am humbled and proud to hear of the incredible achievements of our team and the impact they make on their communities.

“This can’t be underestimated and I am delighted that we are able to grow our team with more police officers, to strengthen our impact by protecting communities, catching criminals and delivering an outstanding service.”

Police and crime commissioner for Sussex Katy Bourne said, “Joining new recruits and their families at police officer attestations is one of the highlights of the year for me. Despite all the challenges that policing will throw at them over the years to come it is truly heart-warming to see that people still want to make a difference. Swearing that oath brings unique responsibilities and powers to help their peers make Sussex safer for us all.

“On behalf of Sussex residents I warmly welcome all 72 new officers to the force and the rewarding career ahead of them.”