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Constable is ‘running out of ideas’ for recruitment

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ST Saviour Constable Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard says she is beginning to run out of ideas about how to recruit new Centeniers ahead of a September deadline.

St Saviour Constable Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard with newly elected Deputy Jess Perchard at the recent swearing-in of States Members at the Royal Court

Earlier this month the Constable was warned by the Royal Court that she had around three months to fill two vacant roles in her honorary force or risk being in contempt of court.

The warning came after two of her officers – Mary O’Keeffe and Isabella Lewis – resigned to stand in the May election. It is believed that neither plan to stand for re-election as an honorary officer.

The parish has repeatedly struggled to find candidates to fill the voluntary positions and in 2015 sent 5,000 letters to St Saviour ratepayers encouraging them to sign up. Only two people came forward.

It is not the first time the Constable has been brought before the Royal Court because of the issue and in 2015 the parish was fined £5,000 for not having enough Centeniers.

However, Mrs Le Sueur-Rennard said that her parish was not alone in having the problem and the recent election had led to a number of officers – among them St Lawrence Deputy Gregory Guida, Trinity Deputy Hugh Raymond and St John Deputy Trevor Pointon – resigning from positions within the honorary police to stand for the States.

‘Most parishes do not have anybody. I think there have been about eight Centeniers elected to the States this year,’ she said.

‘I lost two this time around. We are trying our hardest to recruit people, but it is very difficult.’

Mrs Le Sueur-Rennard added that she had previously put up a banner outside the parish hall and repeatedly put notices in the parish magazine but was now trying different ways of recruiting officers.

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‘We are planning on doing a recruitment drive later this month at Les Quesne’s Garden Centre, where we will take one of the honorary police cars up and let kids play with the blues and twos.

‘That way you tend to get mums and dads coming along and we get a chance to talk to them about being in the honorary police, but I am running out of ideas now.’

The Constable has previously warned that the honorary system could die out if more officers cannot be found.

This week, she said that employers need to be more flexible when it comes to allowing staff time off to work in the honorary police and warned that general policing costs could rise if enough honorary officers are not found.

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‘Employers and employees need to do more if they want to give back to the Island. If we have the six Centeniers that we need they only need to be on duty one week in every six,’ she said.

‘Honorary police do such great work for no money, especially at big events. We, understandably so, have to pay for the States police and if we cannot find enough honorary officers it will undoubtedly eventually put a strain on everyone’s wallets.’

More information about the recruitment day will be available in due course.

Anyone interested in applying for a role within the parish’s honorary police should contact the parish hall on 735864.

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