Bedfordshire Police rolls out training hub for hundreds of new recruits
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Communities across Bedfordshire will start feeling the difference of a police recruitment drive soon after it emerged that more than 500 new officers have been brought in since 2020.
As part of the national Uplift programme to grow policing nationally by an extra 20,000 officers, Bedfordshire is set to benefit from around 300 extra pairs of boots on the ground.
The force was allocated additional funding to recruit the extra officers between 2019 and 2023 and they have been full steam ahead with encouraging people to join a career in policing.
Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst said: “It is fantastic to see so many enthusiastic people coming into the force all eager to make a difference to the public of Bedfordshire. It has been a massive challenge as, due to retirements and transfers, we have had to recruit significant numbers of officers to grow the size of the force to 1,456 officers by the end of March.
“However, I want to emphasise that this isn’t about a numerical target, this is about recruiting people who are representative of our communities and who have the right values to be outstanding police officers.
“The additional officers will undoubtedly make a difference in helping us manage the demand we face in Bedfordshire and help keep people safe.”
As a result of the force exceeding its recruitment target, there are currently 289 student officers in training. To ensure the highest standards, the force has created a Student Hub to give dedicated tutorship to new recruits.
Within the first six months of joining, officers move from initial training to working on the beat, which can be a daunting transition. The hub is a dedicated resource to support students in their first 15 weeks out on the beat.
In the Student Hub, new officers work with a tutor so they can talk through each job and situation and get that much needed support. They are also able to choose non-urgent jobs to attend that fit in best with what they need to learn and experience. With this approach students can work at a slightly slower pace, be coached through, and have time to debrief after the incident.
Inspector Tim Taylor, from the Student Hub, said “We found that when students are working at the same pace as response officers, they can get overwhelmed going job to job and not having time to talk and review what went well and what they can improve on. From there we have developed The Student Hub.
“This is a new process that we hope will help new recruits transition from a civilian to officer smoothly, especially for the younger generation.
“Urgent calls for help will still be responded to as soon as we can. This new approach will support our busy patrol teams and free them up to go to 999 calls whilst the student hub completes incidents that need more time allocated to them.”
Student Officer Katrina Starbuck said: “The Student Hub has helped me transition from the classroom to patrol because we get time to talk through jobs, go through the different outcomes and help with the admin side of policing.
“It was a bit of a shock moving from initial training because we are dealing with real people who don’t react the same way as my cohort in role play scenarios. The time with my tutor has been invaluable as he can share his lived experiences and learning with me.
“We can also to attend jobs with other students and build on friendships made in initial training.”
Bedfordshire Police is still actively recruiting and have many ways to join policing, whether you have qualifications or not or have ambitions to be a police officer or detective. Visit the Bedfordshire Police careers website to find your ideal policing route.