Two dozen new police recruits have started training this week, strengthening the thin blue line protecting our communities in difficult times.
The 24-strong team of new police constables proudly pulled on the Durham Constabulary uniform for the first time on Monday, at the start of a rigorous 13-week classroom-based training programme.
They will then take part in a 10-week period under the supervision of a tutor in their assigned neighbourhoods before going out on the beat on the streets of County Durham and Darlington.
The new officers follow on from 24 PCs and 20 PCSOs who started their training earlier this year.
All applied to become police officers long before the coronavirus pandemic swept the country and the recruits have had to get used to new ways of working at the force’s dedicated training centre at Meadowfield, Durham City.
The new intake were sworn in by magistrates on Tuesday at an attestation ceremony held over Skype rather than the traditional parade, while the trainee constables are being split into smaller classes to allow for social distancing measures.
Over the next few months they will be put through their paces learning everything from laws and legislation, right through to police powers of arrest and stop and search, investigative skills and supporting victims.
Chief Constable, Jo Farrell, visited the new recruits to personally welcome them to the force.
Mrs Farrell said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome our new recruits to the team as they embark on new careers which will see them make a huge difference to the lives of people in the communities they serve.
“These are unprecedented times and a unique challenge, one which our new recruits would not have expected when they first filled in the application form to join Durham Constabulary.
“But throughout these turbulent times, our officers continue to do what they have always done: preventing crime, catching criminals and keeping our communities safe.
“We are out there every day, tackling high harm incidents and offering residents reassurance, and I’m sure our new recruits will enjoy getting stuck in.”
The new intake form part of a recruitment drive at Durham Constabulary which is expected to see approximately 200 extra constables join the forces over the next three years.
Durham Constabulary expects to reopen recruitment for another 24 constables in May.
Anyone considering a career in policing should keep an eye on the force website for more information www.durham.police.uk/Join-us/Pages/Recruitment.aspx