The thin blue line in Doncaster is becoming thicker - and younger - with the latest batch of student officers in training.
Matthew Sics, aged 22, from Doncaster, and Melissa Garrison, 29, of Rotherham, are among South Yorkshire Police’s latest recruits.
Having trained in Doncaster Town Centre where they work for 10 weeks with an experienced tutor constable, they remain committed to making a ‘positive change’ to law and order.
Melissa said: “I think the main reason I signed up was because I always wanted to help people.
“So, from a young age, I always really wanted to go into the police.
“I wanted to help and make a difference in the community.”
She completed initial 16-week training at Robert Dyson House, learning law, personal safety and working with vulnerable people, before starting a local street beat with an accompanying trained officer. Melissa said: “We do a lot of foot patrols in the town, where we can engage in the local community, often getting people come up to us and saying it’s really nice to see a police presence in the community and you are doing a good job.
“It’s something I’m proud of, that we can make a difference in the local community.”
Matthew, previously a special constable, also relishes the full-time role.
“On a day-to-day basis it varies,” he said.
“You can be out in a car on a mobile patrol, responding to incidents, or you can be on foot patrol in the town centre.
“This is aimed at trying to relieve some of the issues we currently face in Doncaster such as begging, homelessness and Spice use.’’
He added: “It feels great. I live in Doncaster and, to make a positive change, is such a good feeling at the end of the day".
Both are banging the recruitment drum.
Melissa said: “Definitely go for it if it’s something you want to do.
“I don’t think there’s another job like it.
"Every day is different, presenting different challenges.
“There are a lot of positive things about being in the police, the main one being you make a huge difference.”
Matthew agreed and said: “I would say 'go for it' because you won’t regret it.
“Every day is different, which is what I enjoy about the job.”
Danielle Duncan-Blakley, 32, from Doncaster, has just completed a two-year training period to become fully fledged officer.
“I was born and bred here so I grew up in the communities I now serve and police today,” she said.
“One of the positives is it’s such a diverse place.
“Working in Doncaster, you get to meet people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and sexualities.
“I think it’s an amazing thing to be a part of a community that is so diverse.”