Surrey Police and Sussex Police welcome over 220 new Police Community Support Officers since launching their Apprenticeship programme
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Surrey Police and Sussex Police have welcomed their first-ever PCSO’s to successfully pass through their new Apprenticeship scheme, whereby officers achieve a Level 4 Apprenticeship and Diploma qualification whilst training to be a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO).
By way of a virtual celebration via Zoom, 14 PCSO's were welcomed and congratulated by Chief Constable’s Gavin Stephens and Jo Shiner, as well as Police and Crime Commissioner’s David Munro and Katy Bourne, for successfully completing and achieving a Level 4 Apprenticeship and Diploma in Community Policing Practice. The qualification is equivalent to a Higher National Certificate, Foundation degree or the first year of an undergraduate degree.
In March 2019, Surrey Police and Sussex Police were the first forces in the country to launch the PCSO Apprenticeship course.
Since then, Surrey and Sussex have recruited and trained over 220 new PCSO's in just 18 months (with many more on the way) – this includes many students who have been recruited through the Positive Action programme which focusses its work on recruiting diverse candidates from a variety of backgrounds to truly reflect the communities that they serve.
In such a short space of time, both forces have received feedback from local businesses and residents who are already seeing and feeling the difference – particularly rural communities.
Many of the new PCSO's have already been involved in high profile incidents – some just a few days after leaving their initial training – including domestic abuse incidents, drug related crime and missing people. This is in addition to the fantastic work they have been doing to engage with communities and break down barriers.
Kat Mey, who is a Surrey PCSO, talks about her time on the programme:
“I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the apprenticeship itself, except that it would be challenging to say the least. However, the experience has definitely helped me build not only my confidence in the role but as a person too. I have learnt so much in a supportive environment.
“I landed in my division well equipped to hit the ground running, wanting to get stuck into the area and get to know the community whilst building trust with them.
“Every day is different which keeps things interesting, but also keeps me on my toes. It’s rare that a day goes by without learning something new, which I feel is something unique to this job.
“I’ve become part of a team which in all honesty, feels more like a family, which makes policing during a pandemic that little bit easier."
Amy Green, a Sussex PCSO, also talks about her experience:
“I wanted to join the Force as I have always wanted to make a difference to people’s lives in a positive way.
“The apprenticeship has given me invaluable knowledge and experience that I have taken through with me in my role as a PCSO.
“I believe it has given me an insight on how to see situations from different perspectives, and I’m looking forward to taking what I have learnt so far and progressing in a career that is genuinely exciting each day.”
Police Community Support Officers (PCSO's) are a key part of our policing teams, working closely with the local community and helping to tackle the issues affecting them. With our apprenticeship scheme, you’ll gain a fully funded Level 4 apprenticeship with diploma qualification in Community Policing Practice whilst you learn. If you think this could be you, we are accepting expressions of interest – you’ll get a notification when we next open for recruitment. To find out more and sign-up: https://www.surrey.police.uk/police-forces/surrey-police/areas/careers/careers/pcso/
PCSO Alice Lee, from the Guildford team, with her award.