Thousands expected to apply as recruitment begins for 150 Notts police officers
NOTTS Police's biggest recruitment drive in five years begins today, with thousands expected to apply to become one of 150 new officers.
Applications from across the UK are expected for the police constable roles, designed to bolster frontline policing in Notts.
Although the application process opens publicly for two weeks today, the force has already been asking serving officers from other forces to apply to transfer to fill some of the roles.
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Temporary police sergeant Dylan Boddy, head of student officer training for the force, said: "If the response to other force's appeals are anything to go by, there are going to be quite a few."
The last drive in 2010 attracted 1,479 applicants over 12 months. The force took on 24 new officers that year.
Since then, some police roles have been filled internally – for example, by police staff or police community support officers.
In the run-up to this year's recruitment drive, 150 application packs have been given out at events.
Mr Boddy added: "I think the reason why so many people are interested is the same reason why the British police service is renowned around the world – it's because of the reputation of how you deliver the service."
The last time the force ran a public recruitment drive of a similar size was in April 2008, when it took on 145 new PCs over 12 months.
The new recruits must pass criminal record checks, written and physical tests and interviews.
Leanne Lamb, a human resources adviser for the force, will be helping to sift through the hundreds of application forms expected to arrive at force HQ in Arnold today.
She said: "We are prepared as a team to review all the responses. We think we are going to get thousands; there are a lot of people who have been waiting years for recruitment to open.
"Our Facebook and Twitter pages have been going crazy recently – there seems to be a buzz."
Applicants who get through undergo a two-year training process and, under the watchful eye of Mr Boddy, an 18-20 week initial course.
Despite the recruitment drive, the force is still battling to save £43 million as part of Government cuts to budgets.
Police stations have been sold and in 2011 the force used the "A19" rule – forcing more than 100 officers to retire in a move subject to an ongoing employment tribunal brought by the Police Federation.
Overall, reported crime has gone down in Notts – from 98,319 reports in April 2009 to April 2010 to 77,421 in the same period from 2011 to 2012.
Phil Matthews, chairman of the Notts arm of the Police Federation and a serving officer, said: "They will be straight in at the deep end – in an environment where people are under a lot of pressure because of the volume of work.
"But there are a lot of positives to the job. I've really enjoyed my 21 years and what's made it for me is the people you work with – they put themselves out for their colleagues and for the public."