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Grab your headset and help someone in their time of need across Sussex

Today sees the launch of Sussex Police’s latest round of contact officer recruitment.

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When the going gets tough, contact officers are there to help. Whether it’s taking a report of a missing person, responding to a burglary or supporting someone in crisis, our contact officers play a vital role in helping keep our communities safe, identifying and protecting the most vulnerable and preventing harm.

Chief Superintendent Paul Betts who leads the Force Control and Command Centre (FCCCD) said:

“We were thrilled with the response to our recruitment campaign earlier this year and are delighted to reopen again today. Our contact officers are an integral part of our front-line, supporting us as we keep Sussex safe and feeling safe, and our recent recruitment has allowed us to provide a better service to the public already.”

“Our contact officers are the essential calm reassurance in someone’s time of need. Whether it’s receiving a call from the scene of a road traffic accident, taking details of a missing person from a concerned relative or responding to online reports of crime; our contact officers are empathetic, supportive and informative.

“It’s a challenging role, no two enquiries are the same, yet it’s one which offers a great sense of pride as we help make a difference, together.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said:

“Contact handlers are the first port of call for people reporting crimes and needing urgent police help, so they need great listening skills, empathy, professionalism and patience. Fortunately Sussex Police continues to receive a very high standard of applicants wanting to join the team and I am sure the next intake will be no different.

“These are essential, unique and fulfilling roles within Sussex Police and I look forward to meeting the new contact handlers once they have been recruited and their training starts.”

Being a contact officer is not your typical nine to five call centre role, ideally you’ll need to be able to work shifts; including nights, weekends and bank holidays. Flexible working is available Monday through to Sunday, from 08:00 to 13:00, or as a job share on the full shift pattern.

You will deal with emergency 999 calls, non-emergency 101 calls, online reporting and social media. Asking the right questions, making threat and risk assessments, listening for vital details and recording information; all while monitoring two screens are vital skills. You will need to be patient, decisive, dynamic and compassion to provide the very best service to the public.

Those who are interested in a career within our FCCCD as a contact officer are encouraged to attend one of the recruitment tours being held at Police Headquarters (Lewes) throughout the application window. You can book a place on a tour here,

Chief Superintendent Betts added:

“If you want to know what life is truly like as a contact officer, then we invite you to come and experience it first-hand on one of our behind the scenes tours. You’ll get to listen into some of the calls you could deal with and meet some of the people who work in the contact and command centre. It’s the perfect opportunity to find out if you’ve got what it takes to work in this demanding, yet incredibly fulfilling roles.”

As the first point of contact for many, engaging with people of all ages and backgrounds, we’re looking for those who can build rapport quickly, show empathy and communicate clearly at all times. Enquiries can include some of the most difficult situations you can think of so compassion and resilience are also important. If you can work under pressure, problem-solve and think quickly then this could be the career for you.

To apply, visit their website

Police

Is now the time to become a police puppy foster carer in Crawley?

Do you have what it takes to be a police puppy foster carer?

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Quaver (left) and Quest (right) pictured in February

The Surrey Police and Sussex Police Dog Unit is seeking applications from families to look after their four-legged friends until they are ready to step up their careers.

In return, you could receive all the care and cuddles you wish from a police pup like Quest.

Quest is a stunning eight-month-old Fox Red Labrador who was bred in Lincolnshire and recruited alongside his brother Quaver at the Surrey Police and Sussex Police Dog Training School.

Kennel Master Emma Coles explained:

“Quest has been with his allocated foster family since he was eight weeks. They have done an amazing job at raising such a fun-loving, social and happy dog.

“Quest loves life, he enjoys nothing more than nice walks, lots of love, toys, play and more play. He is now ready to develop his training further and is stepping up his Police Dog career along to the next level.

“Last week he said a sad farewell to his loving foster family and he has now gone to live at home with his potential new handler.”

The Surrey Police and Sussex Police Dog Unit is made up of German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Spaniels and Labradors. They are trained for multiple purposes including detecting drugs, weapons and explosives, searching for missing or wanted people, and assisting in public order incidents such as crowd control.

Emma added:

“We can’t thank Quest’s foster family enough for all of their hard work and dedication. Without families such as these, we would not be able to do what we do.

“Quest’s foster carers will get the opportunity to know how he progresses with his new handler and once he is fully trained, they will be given the opportunity to come back in, watch him work and show off his new found skills.”

If you think you have the time and dedication to help raise a police puppy, please email emma.coles@surrey.pnn.police.uk

For a list of frequently asked questions, please see below:

How long will we have the puppy? This can vary, but in general from eight weeks up until 8-12 months old.

Do we need experience? No, we have a variety of foster families in our team ranging from a lifetime of experience with working dogs to no experience at all.

Can the puppy be housed with children? Yes, we want our puppies socialised with children of all ages.

Can the puppy be housed with other dogs? Yes, if the other dogs are over 12 months of age and of sound temperament.

Can the puppy be housed with other animals? Yes, we encourage socialisation of our puppies with other animals. We will always provide guidance on how to correctly introduce your new puppy to the family and other animals.

Do police provide any funding for the puppies? We will cover the costs of food, equipment, training and veterinary care.

What breeds do Surrey Police and Sussex Police have in their breeding programme? German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Labradors, and Cocker and Springer Spaniels.

What is the criteria to be a puppy foster carer? You must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Attend puppy training classes as often as required
  • Drive or have access to a car on a daily basis
  • Have no more than four leaving hours a day
  • Have your own secure garden
  • Have time to devote
  • Be very patient!

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