Sussex Police has employed 76 new recruits, in what is the largest intake to the force in recent years. Ten per cent of the intake are people from Black, Asian and Minority backgrounds and, for the first time, the recruitment drive has seen more women (53.6 per cent) join through this route than men.
One of these women is Kat Parry, 35, from Worthing. She said: “I had always wanted to join the police though my parents are very traditional and wanted me to go to university first. After eight years working in different management roles, I felt unfulfilled.
"I saw an advert on Facebook to say that Sussex Police were recruiting for graduate positions and I thought ‘why not?’ and here I am!
"I have had interactions with the police and sometimes in rather desperate situations. An officer can have such a huge impact on taking control of an issue, calming the chaos, and reassuring those involved and around them, and that’s something I aspire to be like.
"I want to be able to make someone else have that sense of safety and confidence in Sussex Police.”
The new recruits were formally sworn-in at an attestation ceremony on Tuesday (January 11) at East Sussex National Golf Club.
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.
“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.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, 'on behalf of Sussex residents', welcomed the new officers to the force 'and the rewarding career ahead of them'.
She added: “Officer attestations are one of the highlights of the year for me when I get to meet our impressive new recruits and their families as they take their oath to serve with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality.
“It is so reassuring that despite all the obvious challenges that a career in policing will face we have people who still want to make a difference.
"Swearing the oath to serve the Queen in the office of constable brings unique responsibilities and powers to help their peers make Sussex safer for us all."
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