Thirty nine fresh recruits walked through the doors at Cheshire Police HQ this week, beginning their training as regular police officers – and creating two new firsts for the force.
The intake (pictured) is the first to come through the force’s new Insight programme – which looks to encourage and support officers from a variety of communities to join the force.
This innovative programme has already won accolades, being shortlisted as a finalist in this year’s Business in the Community race equality awards, and is designed to ensure that the force can attract talent from across Cheshire’s communities.
And for a ‘second’ first, this intake includes the first nine trainee officers who have come through the Police Now graduate programme.
This national scheme, which puts exceptional graduates on the frontline of policing, is similar to the Teach First scheme in education. Officers coming through Police Now will undertake a two-year programme to accelerate their experience in policing, meet rigorous targets, and mark them as leaders in policing.
Cheshire Constabulary is one of seven forces to recruit applicants from the programme this year.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “I am really pleased to see Cheshire attracting new talent who will soon be policing our communities. I’ve been desperately keen to see the Insight programme succeed in attracting able, talented people from some of our minority communities and it is now bearing fruit.
“Similarly, Police Now opens the force up to graduates who might not otherwise have considered frontline policing to be for them – which will help the force face the challenges of the future. What won’t change, however, is the exceptionally high standards of conduct we set, the pride I want them to feel as they police our communities, and the commitment to the force’s ‘We’re here’ commitments which underpins our approach to policing in Cheshire.”
Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “It was a pleasure to spend some time welcoming the Constabulary’s newest recruits. Ensuring that the Constabulary has a diverse and inclusive police service for Cheshire is something I feel passionately about and so, like the Chief Constable, I was pleased to see the work of the Insight programme beginning to bear fruit.”
“During my conversations with the public, they are making it clear that they want more officers visible in our communities. The new intake of recruits will only strengthen the Chief Constable’s hand in being able to achieve this. I would like to wish the new recruits all the best with their new and challenging career and I am sure that they will be a real asset in keeping our communities safe.”