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Suffolk sets sights on increasing sergeant ranks

A county force has run a national recruitment drive for the first time in a bid to bring up to 40 sergeants into its ranks. Suffolk Constabulary has plans to add to its uplift intake and modernise.

Responding to rural crime and the increase in County Lines activity has led Suffolk Constabulary to increase its ranks with a big intake.

The force is planning to appoint up to 40 sergeants in both uniform and detective ranks.

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger told Police Oracle how it’s been made possible: “Recruitment hasn’t been easy in the recession years and some of it has been around natural turnover. We’re now delivering on our one and two years of uplift. We increased council tax at the same time so we’re delivering on a number of new teams. So we need more sergeants than we ordinarily would.”

Suffolk is a small force that traditionally has promoted from within its own ranks so the recruitment drive is a big step.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever opened out to bring in talent from other forces. We’ve pretty much got vacancies across every department. Some of it is in Safer Neighbourhoods but we also have vacancies in our detective roles,” he said.

The perception is that because Suffolk has a large rural area the policing work is not as complex as working for a major city force.

But, as Assistant Chief Constable Rob Jones explained to Police Oracle, the area includes urban areas that are a target for organised gangs as well as a major international sea port. He joined the force from the Metropolitan Police to develop ideas on how to tackle issues like neighbourhood crime and is focused on developing community relations.

DCS Bridger said the new sergeants will be dealing with far more than rural crime: “They will be dealing with everything from organised crime threats at local level, through to joint enforcement with Norfolk road teams policing the joint jurisdiction.”

The candidates sought by the force must be a substantive Constable who has completed their probation period and has been confirmed in post, holds OSPRE Part 1 and Part 2 or has a valid OSPRE Part 1 or LKE qualification, which has not expired.

The force is moving quickly: “We’re looking to safely move to interview process and appoint immediately after that. Clearly, external candidates will have to work through their notice period but they will get an early indication of what their role will be,” he said.

Why apply to Suffolk over other forces? 

DCS Bridger said: “It’s a vibrant place, a prosperous, health area with relatively low crime – a place to bring a family.”

The force is keen to develop the new members of the team and is committed to ensure they are fully supported by their management team for their next step up in promotion.

DCS Bridger said: “We have a chief constable who has a very clear mission. We’re a friendly force - enough that every person in that role knows each other. There are very few sergeants that I don’t know by name. There’s a digital investment going on and the leadership will invest in them.”

You can find out more about working for Suffolk Constabulary HERE

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