Sussex Police has welcomed 11 new Special Constables to the force who will be heading out on the streets of Sussex in the coming weeks.

The new officers were sworn into the force at a formal attestation ceremony on Sunday (12 December) and welcomed by Assistant Chief Constable Tanya Jones.

Having completed their intensive 13 weeks’ initial training, they will join local policing teams as volunteer police officers, giving their free time to help keep Sussex communities safe.

ACC Jones said: “It was brilliant to be able to attend and welcome the new Special Constabulary recruits. I know the recruits will be a welcome and beneficial addition to Sussex Police, and I look forward to hearing about the work they will get involved in”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “The health and economic impact of the pandemic and the social restrictions to contain it brought out the worst and the best in people. Yet although we saw greed, and fraud by some, we also saw volunteering on an epic scale across the country.”

“Our newly attested Special Constables will very soon be on the frontline against crime and disorder and they are very special volunteers indeed. Just like our regular police officers, Specials commit to uphold people’s human rights and to preserve the peace with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality. They are justifiably respected all around the world.”

“I know they will be warmly welcomed by their fellow officers and the communities they will soon be protecting.”

The new special constables will join either local response teams or neighbourhood teams, where they will continue much of their training alongside their coaches on the streets, together with further theoretical, legal and practical training. Only once they have completed the entire programme, will they achieve independent patrol, which usually takes 12 to 18 months.

New recruit, SC Penelope Voget, said: “I decided to become a Special Constable as I felt I had more to give, over and above the role I perform as my day job.”

“I am the head of supply chain operations for a company which means I make sure that the buying of goods is done compliantly according to applicable law. I manage a global team of people ensuring we deliver the right product at the right time, every time.”

“As an immigrant from South Africa, my family and I have benefitted from the welcome the United Kingdom has given us, plus the opportunity to be able to live and work in this country. I have been fortunate to have a second career and my children have been able to grow up in a country that values them for who they are and what they want to be. It is important for me to acknowledge the privilege my family has had and for me to attempt to give something back in return.”

“I feel policing offers me an opportunity to learn new skills that I’m not necessarily exposed to in my day job plus giving me an entirely new focus since my children are now adults.”