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It is business as usual at Leicestershire Police as far as training for new police officers and staff goes.
The force is aiming to recruit hundreds of officers over the next few years and isn’t letting the current situation stop it from achieving those goals.
The latest cohort of 34 students started earlier this month and will be out on the streets of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland by the end of June having undergone an intensive mixture of classroom and distance based training.
Following this, they will learn on the job thanks to multiple teams and individuals – trainee assessors and our existing experienced officers.
Initial training includes learning a plethora of relevant legislation so that effectively the new officers ‘know the law’. As well as this, they will undergo fitness tests, learn first aid and resuscitation techniques vital to the job, as well as how to actually arrest an individual, interview, and take statements.
They will also be given a large number of real-life based scenarios to think their way through – from how to deal with threats of violence and weapon wielding to how to spot the signs of domestic violence or child neglect.
“Given that social distancing is having to take place whenever possible, some of the training is now taking place remotely via a host of media platforms,” explained Sarah Taylor from Learning and Development.
“We’re adapting wherever possible and we’re pleased that we haven’t had to stop training. Standards remain extremely high.”
As well as fulfilling the application criteria, which enables the force to conduct background checks, prospective candidates must undergo rigorous assessment by a panel who scrutinise their decision making under pressure.
Sarah added: “It’s not an easy process, but then the job isn’t easy.
“Officers need to be able to handle all sorts of pressurised situations and deal with them. A huge part of that is learning how to communicate effectively so that they can diffuse situations as and when they arise. Of course we know that’s not always going to be possible, but I think people would be surprised at just how much it is.
“There are so many opportunities available to people who join the police, whether that’s joining the firearms or dogs team or the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Training never really stops – there’s always something new to learn and it’s something this force invests heavily in.”
Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “It’s fantastic to see new recruits coming through and that the team delivering training can still do so.
“We are taking every precaution necessary but if anything, this shows just how adaptable this force can be and the determination we have to continue with our day to day business, despite the difficult climate we now find ourselves in. Among the many skills these trainees will learn is to stay calm when those around them may not be. This is no ordinary job but it’s thoroughly rewarding and we welcome applications from people of all backgrounds who believe they have what it takes.”
There are several cohorts who are about to or have started their training, including those pictured who took their oath to be sworn into Leicestershire Police this afternoon (15 April). The group were sworn in at Police Headquarters by a magistrate.
The force is actively recruiting for officers and PCSOs now. Recruitment of PCSOs closes Sunday 19 April and Monday 11 May for officers.