Eighty-nine new officers have joined Northumbria Police in an extremely poignant ceremony – for the first time swearing allegiance to His Majesty King Charles III.
The latest recruits were officially welcomed this week by Chief Constable Winton Keenen QPM.
And the significant occasion was made even more poignant following the recent death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Chief Constable Keenen said: “All police officers swear allegiance to the reigning Monarch and following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen this is the first time that we have done so to King Charles III.
“I can remember the great sense of pride I felt when I took this Oath and it has been an honour to have served The Queen for so long and it is a privilege to continue that service to The King.
“These new officers now begin their own journey of dedication to public duty – giving their all to serve and protect the communities we are so privileged to be a part of here in the North East.”
He added: “I always look forward to welcoming new officers into our policing family.
“This really is a career like no other and one where you have the potential to make a real and lasting difference to people’s lives.
“The latest recruits join a committed team of officers, staff and volunteers, who continually go above and beyond what should be expected of them, to provide the very best service possible.”
Northumbria Police’s recruitment campaign activity to attract the very best candidates from all backgrounds who will bring a wide and diverse range of experiences and skills has been praised in the latest PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) inspection report published earlier this week.
This further builds on the Force’s commitment to improving diversity, equality and inclusion.
The latest recruits replace retiring officers and form part of Northumbria Police’s commitment to increase numbers.
They will now begin an extensive training programme, which will include time in the classroom and on patrol alongside their more experienced colleagues.
Earlier this month, the biggest-ever recruitment drive for new officers came to a close – but there are still opportunities to join and anyone who has an interest in policing and public service is encouraged to visit the Force’s careers website to find out more.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “It’s always a big day for our new recruits, marking the beginning of their policing careers, and what a historic and memorable time to be joining our Force too.
“People tell me they want to see more police officers out on the streets – we all do – and so I am pleased that this is the largest student intake we have welcomed in some time.
“These new recruits will now begin the process of getting fully trained up so they can get out there serving local communities in the fight against crime and protecting our most vulnerable.
“Our Force has certainly suffered at the hands of Government cuts over the years and there’s still a job to do in building numbers back up, but we are getting on with it as best we can, despite the challenges.
“I am grateful to everyone who chooses to take on the Northumbria Police uniform and commits to helping us deliver the police service that our region needs and deserves. I wish everyone who has joined this week the very best with the career that lies ahead.”