More than 200 new officers join Northumbria Police during lockdown

More than 200 new recruits have joined Northumbria Police during the coronavirus lockdown.

Chief Constable Winton Keenen and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness welcomed 52 student officers last week, bringing the total of new starters since lockdown was announbced on March 23 to 217.

Special measures have been put in place to allow training to go-ahead, with an increased emphasis on digital and virtual learning.

The latest recruits have joined the Graduate Initial Police Learning & Development Programme (G-IPLDP), a bespoke two-year programme, open to officers who already hold a degree and will be focusing their development in an investigative role whilst working towards the Level 3 Policing Diploma.

Chief Constable Keenan talks to the latest batch of new officers

Chief Constable Keenen said: “These new officers are needed now more than ever, to support the vital services we provide to the communities we are proud and privileged to serve.

“We set out to recruit exceptional people from all communities, who will bring a range of experiences and who are determined to make a real difference.

“In doing so, we want to make Northumbria Police more representative of our wonderfully diverse communities here in the North East so that we can continue to serve their needs as best as possible.

“I wish all of our recruits every success with their training and for the future.”

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Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness address socially distanced recruits

Commissioner Kim McGuinness added: "Our police officer numbers are growing and growing and the more we have in their uniforms out on our streets, the better. This is what people want to see, especially when the Force has been hit hard by a decade of austerity. We are doing everything in our power to invest and build the force back up - to make people feel safe and keep crime down.

"I've had the pleasure of meeting many of the latest round of new recruits. They were a really pleasant bunch, committed to their new role and from all walks of life. All were really itching to get started. I'm grateful to each of them for signing up to be a police officer, especially in these challenging times, and I look forward to meeting them again as they progress their careers with us."

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Some of the new recruits in training

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Commissioner Kim McGuiness