Honorary police hail recruitment success

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Centenier David Curtis said that an Islandwide recruitment drive – which launched just before the Covid-19 pandemic began last year – had generated a significant amount of interest from parishioners seeking to join their local volunteer force.

He added that some parishes had received ‘a better response than others’ but that overall it had been a ‘huge success’.

And the campaign has been so successful for some that one parish – Grouville – has gone from being at risk of being fined for not having enough officers to having its largest force for around 20 years.

‘We are still generating interest and will be relaunching the campaign just to refresh it and send it out as a reminder,’ said Mr Curtis. ‘Recruitment has always been an issue for the honorary police, especially during the current climate.’

St John Constable Andy Jehan said that the parish – which has previously struggled to meet the required number of officers – still had five vacancies to be filled, but that he was ‘really pleased’ with the campaign and anticipated St John would have a full complement later this year.

‘It’s a great opportunity,’ he said. ‘We are running a campaign at the moment and are currently engaged with a number of potential candidates,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the Parish of Grouville’s force grew from roughly six or seven members to 18 committed volunteers within a year – narrowly avoiding a £5,000 fine in the process.

Constable John Le Maistre said: ‘It’s great – obviously the publicity helped. We expect to have a full complement of 20 soon as we currently have two enquiries, but even at 18 it’s the most we have had in around 20 years.’

He added: ‘A lot of the new recruits come from a diverse background, it’s really quite exciting. It’s important to have a full complement as before it was difficult for officers who didn’t have that much support, but now they have a really great team.’

Centenier John O’Brien said: ‘Hopefully now that we have the full strength [of the force] back other people will be encouraged to come forward – we nearly have a full complement now and we have a nice diversity.’

St Lawrence Constable Deidre Mezbourian said that her parish was still ‘down on numbers’, with nine out of a possible 14 positions currently filled, but that the campaign had resulted in regular enquiries.

‘I would encourage anyone thinking of joining to call me, as I joined the force myself over 20 years ago,’ she said.

The Constable can be contacted on 285054 or by emailing D.Mezbourian@gov.je.

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