Police on recruitment drive to boost number of constables
Guernsey Police are again looking to recruit constables, after struggling with numbers in recent years.
More than 10% of police staff resigned in 2022.
It is not known how many constables are being sought on the latest intake, which has a deadline for applications of 16 February.
Guernsey Police were approached but were unavailable to talk about the challenges it has faced in recruiting and retaining staff.
Police numbers have dropped over the years. In 2005 there were 158 police officers, of which 107 were constables. The most recent annual police report was from 2022 and it shows there were 140 police officers, including 98 constables. While this was a drop from 17 years before, it was an improvement on 2021, when there were 131 officers, with 87 constables.
There were 16 police officer resignations in 2022 and 15 the year before that.
The job advert states that constables play a critical front-line role in the prevention and detection of crime, safeguarding the public and the criminal justice system.
Constables are required to meet and maintain the highest professional standards by conducting all actions in a legal, balanced, proportionate and justifiable manner to uphold the law and achieve the best outcomes in a wide range of situations/incidents.
The wages vary from £38,877 to £54,445 a year.
Graduate careers website Prospects stated that the starting salary for police constables in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is £21,402, rising to £41,130 at the top of the scale – achievable after about seven years. In Scotland starting salaries are slightly higher at £26,737, rising to £41,578 after about 10 years’ service.
The UK has been facing problems with policing, with cuts to police staff who are not officers – such as community support officers and administrative workers – resulting in constables being taken away from front-line policing to fill gaps.
For the Guernsey recruitment process, the initial recruitment and fitness tests will be held in early March, followed by an assessment day at the end of the month. Formal interviews will then be held at the start of April.
There is also a hunt on for an officer to transfer to Alderney. The successful candidate would be part of a small team, which has a community-style policing. The post- holder would be required to undertake special branch duties at the ports, liaising with customs and the harbour, and act as gaoler. Candidates for this post must already be a serving constable, with at least five years’ experience. The wages are between £41,098 and £54,445 a year.