A further 18 recruit constables have taken their first steps in policing this week.

The new recruits were formally sworn in as police officers on Tuesday (29 March) at a low key attestation ceremony carefully adapted to meet Covid-safety measures, with family and friends of the new recruits experiencing the proud moments via Zoom.

Deputy Chief Constable Julia Chapman said: “I am delighted to welcome these new officers to the force – and it was a pleasure to formally meet them earlier this week.

“They have commenced their policing career at a challenging time, and each is enthusiastic and determined to make a positive difference to communities and individuals when they join their new teams across Sussex in June.

“I wish them all every luck in their new career.”

“I am proud that through the hard work and innovation of our training teams we have trained 279 recruit police officers since lockdown began in March 2020, as well as 70 PCSO apprentices, through adapting to meet social distancing regulations.

“In the last financial year this has seen a net increase of more than 179 police constables, ensuring we keep our frontline strong and deliver on our priorities to protect communities, catch criminals and deliver an outstanding service.

“This growth is set to continue in the new financial year, with an uplift of 117 extra police officers to be funded by the national recruitment campaign and the council tax policing precept.”

The new officers will spend nine weeks training at the county police HQ in Lewes before joining dedicated coaching units in police stations countywide where they will continue their three year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship on the streets, alongside a coach.  

“I am really proud and excited to be starting my new career with Sussex Police,” said PC Tamas Marton, a dad from Bognor Regis.

“I have always wanted to be a police officer, so this is a special moment for me. I am from Hungary originally, and have worked in various jobs since coming to England in 2010, always trying to better myself. 

“I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life and am aiming to be the best officer I can.”

PC Matt Rhys-Williams, from Burgess Hill, was inspired to join the police by officers he liaised with as a manager of the Co-op, while PC Nathan Strudwick gave up his career as an undertaker in Eastbourne to pursue his dream career.

“I am really looking forward to working within a team to protect the public in these challenging times.

“Having worked in the funeral profession for five years, I am used to supporting people compassionately through tough times, especially during the Covid epidemic.

“I hope to use this experience and skill in my work as a police officer to make a difference to individuals’ lives when they need us most.”

The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, is an entry route for non-graduates, allowing officers to work towards a degree in Professional Policing Practice. The entry route allows the officers to gain a thorough grounding in the skills and knowledge they need to meet the ever-evolving landscape of 21st Century crime.