ESSEX Police’s final Passing Out Parade of the year has seen the force welcome 74 new officers.

The latest recruits completed their training by proudly passing out during a special ceremony surrounded by their family and friends at the headquarters in Chelmsford on Friday.

They were welcomed into the force by Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington.

The officers started their journeys in the Essex Police College and have been put through their paces over the last 18 weeks as they trained to become police constables.

Eight of the latest intake of officers will be posted to Tendring.

Mr Harrington said: “It’s an honour for me to welcome and congratulate another 74 new police constables into the Essex Police family.

“In 2019, we have now welcomed 360 officers, which totals to almost one new officer for the county per day.

“The passing out ceremony is a celebration at the culmination of 18 weeks intensive training before our new officers go out on patrol to serve our communities; helping people, keeping them safe and catching criminals.

‘I am looking forward to seeing where their journey in policing takes them’’

Together with chief officers, the officers thanked the trainers and staff for their support and hard work during their 18 weeks at Essex Police College.

The event saw PC Allan Donaldson awarded the Essex Police College Shield and PC Alexandra Reynolds, PC Nicole Jenkinson, PC Kellie Morant and PC Benjamin Herbert winning the ‘class trophy’ for each of their classes.

Giles Watling, Clacton’s Conservative candidate for the General Election, campaigned in the House of Commons on behalf of Essex MPs for additional funding for the police and for the Government to axe its cap on increases to the police’s share of the council tax bill.

Following the campaign, former Minister of State for Policing Nick Hurd changed the rules to allow the cap to be lifted to pay for more frontline officers due to the “financial challenges” faced by Essex Police.

Mr Watling said Tendring has already had 23 new officers start this year and that some of the new recruits will also be stationed in Clacton.

Mr Watling said: “I’m so thrilled to see even more effort to make our streets safer and I’m proud this initiative started in Clacton.

“When we see our new officers, I hope everyone will give them a warm greeting to the Sunshine Coast.”

The force said it is still recruiting new police officers.

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The full list of candidates standing for election in Clacton: Colin Bennett (Ind), Kevin Bonavia (Lab), Andy Morgan (Ind), Callum Robertson (Lib Dem), Just-John Sexton (Monster Raving Loony Party), Chris Southall (Green) and Giles Watling (Con).