SEVENTY-four new officers took their oaths to the King and started their Essex Police careers as the force now has more officers protecting and serving the county than ever before.
In a parade led by Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington and attended by the Essex Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst and His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, the officers formally commenced their new duties.
There are now more Essex police officers than at any previous time in the force’s 182-year history.
There will be even more – a total of 3,755 officers – dedicated to helping people, keeping people safe, and catching criminals by March 2023, thanks to public support and funding from both the Police Uplift Programme for 20,000 extra officers in England & Wales and also from the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst.
There has been investment in new policing units such as the popular Town Centre Teams which provide a visible reassurance to rural and urban communities and a deterrent to criminals.
There has also been investment in new specialist teams such as the Quest team, which investigates non-recent child sexual abuse, and the Domestic Abuse Problem Solving Teams, which break the cycle of abuse, supporting victims and bringing criminals to justice.
The new officers pledged their commitment to police with the consent of every community at a time when the force is welcoming more new colleagues from a range of different backgrounds.
Addressing the new recruits, Chief Constable Harrington said: “Today you pass out from the Essex Police College. You will be going out into our communities as Essex Police officers. You have put yourself forward to catch criminals, to protect people and to keep people safe. In doing this, you have placed the needs of others before your own.
“Thank you, this is what it means to be a British police officer.
“To those who would do others harm – you must be relentless in your pursuit of justice.
“To those who are victims of crime – you must be compassionate.
“To those you work with – you must be dependable.
“And to all you meet, you must be respectful and trustworthy.
“As your Chief Constable, I will help you police with the consent of every member of our society, whoever they are, however they define themselves and whatever their beliefs. It will not be easy.
Essex Police, Fire, and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who is taking their oath today and joining the Essex Police family. You will be making a significant difference in our communities and making Essex an even safer place for everyone.
“I’m proud to say that Essex Police is now the largest it has ever been. Working alongside national government we have significantly increased the investment in policing over the last five years. By March 2023 we will have 900 extra officers. The people of Essex have shown incredibly strong support for the Force and have consistently chosen to invest more in policing. This is an important and historic day.”
The new Essex Police officers are eager to get started.
PC Lily Dyer will be the newest officer in Basildon and will be responding to emergencies across the district. She said:
“I’m proud that I’ve got here. Our cohort is like one big family. Everyone is always there for each other. If one person is struggling, everyone will help.
“I want to help change people’s perception on the police and make a difference.”
PC Aaron Smyth, who first joined Essex Police as a Special Constable in 2021, will now be using his experience to serve the people of Colchester and beyond.
“There’s a lot of weight on my shoulders to protect and help people.
“I’m looking forward to talking to the public, boosting their confidence in us and ensuring them we’re here to do the job.”
At Essex Police, we value difference and it’s your values that matter the most. Since July 2019, 40% of the force’s new recruits have been female.
We’ve also seen an average of 12% applications to join us coming from people who are from black, Asian or ethnic minority communities.