New recruits set to boost frontline policing were celebrated at a passing out ceremony last night (February 12).
Around 100 people were guests at Police HQ in Kempston to watch a passing out parade for 33 student officers who have just completed their initial 20 weeks’ training.
The group of 20 men and 13 women proudly marched to the front car park for an inspection by Chief Constable, Colette Paul, and Police and Crime Commissioner, Olly Martins.
Also there to congratulate the students were the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, High Sheriff, Colin Osborne, and family and friends.
Now the students, who saluted as they marched off to the sounds of the Northamptonshire Scout Band, will each take to the streets with an experienced Local Policing Officer over 10 weeks. After that they will be subject to 18 months’ on-going assessment.
Chief Constable Paul said: “It was an incredibly proud moment for the students, their trainers and of course everyone assembled outside police headquarters.
“These new officers looked smart and professional in their new uniforms and from this point on will make an immediate and visible contribution to protecting the public and fighting crime. They will be given a very warm welcome by all hard-working officers, staff and volunteers at Bedfordshire Police.”
Mr Martins added: “This was the second passing out parade at Bedfordshire Police since the lifting of the four-year recruitment freeze, and once again the new constables are helping to provide welcome new blood into the organisation.
“However, at this stage we are only engaged in returning force strength to where it is meant to be, rather than increasing it. Only my proposal to modestly increase what people pay for policing through the council tax will enable the recruitment of additional Police Constables, who can be returned to our Neighbourhood Policing Teams in each part of the county”.
Training Sgt Lee Haines joined proceedings with fellow trainers Insp Jeff Carter, Sgts Paul Ayling, Gary Fitzharris and PC Julie Wilkinson. He said: “The students have worked incredibly hard to reach this point. We want to thank them for their hard work and their families for their support.”
Anyone interested in joining Bedfordshire Police as an officer, staff member,paid intern, Special Constable, Service Volunteer or Cadet can find details at www.bedfordshire.police.uk.