Specialist recruitment start-up set to play key role in drive to expand UK police services

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A specialist recruitment agency has been launched in Liverpool that aims to help prepare and propel the careers of people working in the police and emergency services sectors.

Careers in Blue is the brainchild of retired police officers Chris Farrell and Jan Scrutton, who boast a combined 60 years’ experience in the force. Its launch closely follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 2021 commitment to increase police numbers over the next three years.

Having worked with The Women’s Organisation on their business plan, Careers in Blue launched in September 2021 and has made a steady start, but the pair say they are looking to grow significantly in 2022.

In October, The Home Office announced that in its drive to recruit additional officers, the police force saw a record number of women joining the ranks, with female officers accounting for 45% of new recruits between June-September 2021.

And over the last year eight forces – Derbyshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Sussex, Thames Valley, Kent and Suffolk – have hired more women than men.

Director and former Detective Sergeant, Chris Farrell says: “Careers in Blue was entirely Jan’s vision and I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of it. We both really enjoy being enablers and if we can use our experience to help others achieve their dream job, then what more can we ask.

“We feel very lucky to have already received recommendations and referrals from friends in the force and ex-colleagues, which has been crucial to helping our business get on its feet.

“We hope to grow significantly within the police forces over the next year and feel strongly that we have launched Careers in Blue at a particularly pertinent time, with record numbers of women taking up roles police force.

“We feel we have a responsibility to give an honest account of what it is like to be a female in the force and be part of the process to continue to break down barriers for females entering the sector.”

Founding director and former assessor for specialist national units, Jan Scrutton adds: “Starting a business has been a completely new experience for us, but Chris and I being best friends for more than 25 years’ has certainly helped the process. We complement each other’s skillsets and work well together, taking the pressure off one another when needed – and as they say, two heads are better than one.

“We have had exceptional support from The Women’s Organisation too. It has been great to know that our business advisor is at the end of the phone when we need him, and we can’t thank him enough for his help, support and guidance.

“Working with The Women’s Organisation has really helped expand our knowledge of what’s required to start and scale a business, and importantly helped grow our confidence.”

Former Detective Sergeant, Chris Farrell, spent more than 30 years with the police force, specialising in counter terrorism policing and national forensic management, and was widely regarded for her knowledge on applications and interview processes.

Jan Scrutton also boasts more than 30 years’ policing experience in various roles, ranks and was responsible for recruitment process for specialist national units. Both Jan and Chris have an innate understanding of the Competency Value Framework (CVF), which is the cornerstone of any police recruitment process.

The Women’s Organisation is an award-winning social enterprise based in Liverpool, directly providing enterprise development services and learning programmes to individuals and organisations across Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester. It has helped to start and scale more than 4,000 businesses since it was established in 1996.

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