New figures released today (28/10) show that Thames Valley Police has increased the number of women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic recruits in the last 12 months.
As part of the National Police Uplift Programme, Thames Valley Police has recruited over 12% more women police officers into the force over the last 12 months, compared to the previous three-year average. This brings the number of women police officers in the force to 35.7%.
The number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic new police officer recruits has also increased by 7%, compared to the last three years. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic represent 13% of all new police officer recruits in the last 12 months. The population of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in the Thames Valley is 15.4%.
Results show the force also attracting people of all ages, with new police officer recruits ranging from 19 to early 50s.
*Please note these figures are to date, as opposed to the National Police Uplift Programme figures which were collated at the end of September.
Thames Valley Police Chief Constable John Campbell said: “A diverse workforce is an important part of our operational effectiveness and is an essential element in maintaining public trust in policing with all of our communities.
“Attracting people from a range of backgrounds brings knowledge, expertise and insight and helps us to build stronger relationships with the public, enabling us to serve and protect them more effectively.
“We acknowledge the difficult times experienced recently in the world of policing, but we remain encouraged by the fact that more women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are applying to join us, to enjoy a fantastic career and make a difference to their communities.”
Following the release of the uplift figures, the Home Secretary Priti Patel today met with Thames Valley Police’s new intake of trainee officers at the force’s training centre in Sulhampstead, Berkshire.
Accompanied by Chief Constable Campbell, the Home Secretary joined a class of aspiring officers during a lesson on interviewing suspects.
Student Police Officer Josh Burgoyne, who is 19-years-old, said: “I want to help people and have a job which I can say I am proud of the work I do.
“Wanting to be a police officer is not something you wake up one day and decide to do. It is something that you have always had a passion for.”
For others, like Student Police Officer Catherine Titcombe, aged 44-years-old, joining the police has been a long held ambition, which she is now able to fulfil later in life:
“I started completing the application form to become a police officer over twenty years ago, and have started the process on several occasions since,” she said. “Something stopped me from completing it in the past, but I finally found the courage to go through with the full process.
“The fact that I would also be given the opportunity to study at degree level was also a bonus, as when I had the opportunity in the past, I was not ready.
“I feel like all the experience I’ve had in life so far has prepared me for now and I am really excited to become qualified and finally achieve my potential.”
The desire to give back to their community and make a difference has also inspired other new recruits to join the force. Student Police Officer Sanika Mehta, aged 31, said: “Although I have enjoyed my previous jobs, there wasn’t always a sense of job satisfaction. I therefore decided that I wanted something more challenging and fulfilling.
“Whilst working at a phone shop previously, the store was robbed. It was an awful experience and the first and only time I have been placed in a position where I was threatened with demands, and felt no sense of security or control over the situation. When the police arrived, I felt a huge sense of relief and safeness. I decided then that I wanted to join the police so I could give back and make others feel that sense of security.”
Thames Valley Police will be opening its officer recruitment programme in early November and more information for those interested in applying can be found here .
Thames Valley Police has committed to making the force representative of the communities it serves. Its Positive Action and Engagement Team, made up of serving officers, has focused on building relationships with under-represented communities and encouraging people from these communities to consider a career in policing. As well as focusing on outreach work, the team supports applicants through the recruitment process and, once joined the force, with their development and progression.