ESSEX Police have welcomed a further 58 new officers into the force taking the total number who have passed out since the first lockdown in March 2020 to 451 – that equates to just under one new officer per day.
As the country endured the biggest disruption to life since the Second World War, they have continued to train the next generation of police officers who are now catching criminals and keeping people safe on the streets of Essex.
More than a third of the new officers are women.
They have joined during a sustained period of growth for the force. By March 2022, we expect the number of officers protecting and serving Essex to exceed 3,500.
The Covid-secure ceremony at headquarters was led by Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington with guests including Deputy Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner and High Sheriff of Essex Simon Brice.
In his speech, Chief Constable Harrington told the new officers they have rewarding careers ahead of them as part of the Essex Police family.
“At times of challenge, the public will look to our leaders and they will also look to you to help them and keep them safe.
“Our visibility and our credibility are more important than ever. You start your journeys at the start of the summer season, where we are seeing high levels of ASB and some of the areas in our county seeing some of the biggest increases in visitors in the whole country.
“In the past year we’ve been able to increase the work we do in tackling some of the most serious crimes. Extra officers are directed against domestic abuse, sexual violence and the scourge that is ‘county lines’ drug supply.
“Together we increase our capacity and capability to be a visible reassurance to the people of Essex and a formidable deterrent to criminals.”
Chief Constable Harrington also reiterated his desire for Essex Police to be representative of our diverse county.
“We are committed to being an inclusive force, which welcomes people from all walks of life. We need people with the widest range of experiences and perspectives to join us, as long as they display the very highest values and ethics that all of us and the public hold so dear.
“We have attracted more people from diverse backgrounds through our #FitTheBill We Value Difference campaign.
“Since last year, more than 2,000 people have applied to join the force. Around 1 in 7 are from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds.
Over the same period, almost 4 in 10 applicants were women. More and more new colleagues chose to disclose their sexuality. But we are not there yet. You can help us in our ambition to be a truly inclusive workforce.”
The Kirste Snellgrove Student Officer award to mark the achievements of an exceptional student was presented to PC John Sneddon. The Drill award for the officer who has shown exceptional determination during their foundation training went to PC Thomas Moor.
Throughout their training, the students also took part in a series of charity challenges that have raised money for causes including Havens Hospices, the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, Sepsis UK, the Isobel Parmenter Memorial Fund, Little Edi Foundation, and our own Essex Retired Police Dog Fund.