A new cohort of police recruits have been sworn-in as officers – and told their communities “need them now more than ever”.
The 79 recruits joined the ranks at Northumbria Police on Monday, ahead of an intensive training period to prepare them to patrol local streets.
They have joined as part of the Force’s ongoing recruitment campaign to increase the number of officers across the area.
Due to the on-going issues arising from Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Force has implemented active measures to allow the much-needed recruitment and training to go-ahead, to create an increase in officer numbers as soon as possible.
In the coming weeks they will take part in a training programme that has been developed to take advantage of improvements in digital and virtual learning and will make them ready and available to take-up a number of potential roles to help support frontline officers during these unprecedented times.
Once restrictions around Covid-19 are lifted, they will then be able to complete the remaining aspects of their training to become fully-fledged officers.
Welcoming the new recruits, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “Of course, it’s a strange time to be welcoming new recruits but we need police officers now more than ever – I cannot stress this enough.
“I want to reassure the public that we’re still helping the vulnerable and doing everything we can to keep our communities safe during these unsettling times.
“I want to thank every single officer – new, old, support staff too, on behalf of the public – all selfless people working incredibly hard in such challenging times – thank you.”
Speaking of the recruitment drive, the Commissioner continued: “This recruitment campaign is about bringing real change for the people of Northumbria.
“Last year, I made a commitment to funding hundreds of officers and we now have people from all walks of life in training to be where local people want them – out on our streets."
Chief Constable Winton Keenen said the new recruits will play a “vital role” in protecting vulnerable people in Northumbria.
He said: “These are undoubtedly challenging times for us all and highlight why it is important we push ahead with our recruitment drive to increase the number of officers available to protect our communities.
“These new offices are needed now more than ever, to support the vital service we provide to the communities we are proud and privileged to serve.”
Chief Constable Keenen added: “Our recruitment campaigns are very much aimed at getting the best people into the organisation and increasing our representation of the communities we serve.
“We want to recruit exceptional people from all communities, who will bring a range of experiences and who are determined to make a real difference.”
The training programme is normally classroom based but will instead be delivered via online virtual classrooms and interactive content.
These new officers have joined the Force as part of the ongoing recruitment programme launched before the outbreak of Covid-19 and that initiative will continue as normal.
If you want to follow in the footsteps of these new recruits, we’ll soon be announcing details of virtual recruitment events for police officers.
Keep an eye on our Northumbria Police LinkedIn page for more information.