Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
In the last few weeks two former members of my team and one of our young volunteers have successfully completed their applications to become police officers.
In March they will begin their training to be part of the 317 increase in officer numbers that has been made possible by us all paying more in our council tax and the Government’s national investment in policing.
To achieve that increase and because, over the next few years, many existing officers will retire or leave for other reasons, it means we will have and will be recruiting potentially almost a thousand new officers.
It has been described as a ‘shot of espresso’ for the workforce as droves of enthusiastic women and men come on board to help keep our communities safe.
For anyone thinking about a career as a police officer in Devon and Cornwall there has probably never been a better time to apply whether it’s as an existing graduate, as one of the new apprentice officers, as a transferee or through one of the other routes which new officers are recruited.
Not everyone is suited to the rigors of becoming a police officer. It is a fantastic career, but it does take a certain type of person to be able to deal with the physical and mental challenges it can bring.
But it is only one of the many amazing careers which are on offer within the police family – we have doctors and digital analysts, solicitors and storekeepers, journalists and janitors, engineers and executive assistants, call handlers and coroners officers – there are nurses, crime scene investigators, IT consultants, project managers, administrators, forensic technicians, mechanics, trainers, social media experts – hundreds of opportunities to join this amazing organisation.
Last year myself and my team met with directors of the South Asian Society in Plymouth – they had asked for my support in promoting the police service as a career within their community, where families would more usually encourage their young people towards careers as engineers, as lawyers and as doctors.
For one reason or another working for the police just doesn’t come onto their radar as a future career and, as the discussion developed, it became clear that one of the reasons for this is that when they think of police what they envisage are uniformed officers, solving crimes and chasing criminals.
On reflection, I think this might be true of many communities and, as the elected link between the police and the public, I want to play my part in promoting the incredible opportunities to join an organisation where long and prosperous careers, with great development opportunities, await.
The Force is one of the largest employers in the south west with over 1,500 members of police staff.
Our aim is to develop a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and is committed to the belief that all people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. We welcome applications from all backgrounds and walks of life and there is no upper age limit as long as you’re fit enough to pass the tests
You can find out more about careers in the police force here and the list of current vacancies here
There are often vacancies in my office where we offer employees the chance to work on scrutiny, policy, commissioning services and public engagement. We will also be having more involvement in police complaints.
It is interesting, challenging and often rewarding work and another opportunity to have a career helping to keep communities safe.
We also recruit volunteers to work in a variety of roles such as independent custody visitors and scrutiny panels.
For more information about OPCC vacancies and volunteering opportunities visit our website here.
The Force also offers an extensive volunteer programme, welcoming people from all communities to be part of our wider policing family.
The skills and experience that members of the public can bring in assisting the Force to forge closer links with our towns, villages and communities is incredibly valuable.
Police support volunteers can gain new skills, meet new people and obtain an insight into the role of the police whilst making a positive contribution to their local community. Some of our volunteering initiatives also involve working with partner agencies and organisations.
Some of the roles currently available are: Volunteer drivers; Victim care volunteers; Administration support; CCTV volunteers; Vehicle check volunteers; Volunteer investigators; Cadet leaders.
You can find out more about volunteering opportunities here.