The Chief Constable, George Hamilton along with the Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Anne Connolly today (Friday 10 October) attended the graduation ceremony of 38 new police officers.
This is the first graduation ceremony since August 2011. The graduating student officers entered the police training college in May 2014 and have successfully completed five months intensive training. The officers will now complete a probation period for two years during which time they will be mentored for one year.
Those graduating today will play a key role in working to deliver the vision of keeping people safe across all communities in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony Northern Ireland Policing Board Chair, Anne Connolly said: “I am delighted on behalf of the Board to welcome these new officers into the PSNI and celebrate their graduation day with family and friends.
“These officers have made a personal commitment to serve the community and the training, which has been designed to meet the needs and demands of modern policing, can now be put into practice.
“Working with colleagues across the Service these officers will be providing an essential service to the community and I wish each of them well as they take the next step in their policing career.”
Speaking at the graduation Chief Constable George Hamilton said: “Our new police officers have been set very high standards to maintain. There are many challenges ahead for them, but I have no doubt that with support from their colleagues and the community they will rise to those challenges and fulfil their duty to keep people safe.
Addressing the new police constables, he continued, “Effective policing does not just happen. It requires a partnership between you and the community. You need to know, trust and respect the people you serve and in return they need to know, trust and respect you.
“We know that the Service is facing huge financial challenges and the level of cuts required will change how we deliver policing. Out of necessity we will focus our resources on where vulnerability and need is greatest. However, our priority will be to concentrate on the things that matter – dealing with local issues and keeping people safe.
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity congratulate each of the officers today and wish them every success their policing career.”
Also congratulating the new recruits, Justice Minister David Ford said: “These new officers are very welcome to what I consider to be one of the best police services in the world. The PSNI delivers a high quality service day in day out, in every community and in every area of policing. Professional PSNI constables such as those graduating today, are the backbone of this service and I wish them every success in their future careers.”
The Chief Constable will present the Baton of Honour to the overall best performing student and the Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board will present the academic prize to the student who has received the best scores in the major exams and assessment throughout the programme.”
For further information please contact the Board’s Communications Office on 07801 738795
Notes to Editor
The new 22 week Student Officer Training Programme developed prior to the commencement of the recruitment campaign was designed to equip the police trainees with the skills and qualities to achieve the aim of the Policing with the Community 2020 Strategy which is “to keep people safe in a way that enhances community confidence in policing”.
The Police Service tendered for the programme externally as a nationally recognised qualification at Level 5, Advanced Diploma in Policing and following the tender process the University of Ulster was successful in the competition.
The Advanced Diploma in Policing is the highest award to any Student Officer Training Programme in the UK.
Breakdown of Graduates
A total of 38 officers graduated
Five female Police Service of Northern Ireland officers
Thirty one male Police Service of Northern Ireland officers
An additional two officers who graduated were from the Belfast Harbour Police
All of the new student officers will be assigned to Neighbourhood Policing duties across Northern Ireland.