NEW police officers in training for County Durham and Darlington swore their policing oath to Queen and country yesterday – but it was all done online.

Durham Constabulary's newest recruits completed their attestation before a local magistrate this morning.

The 26 probationary officers are believed to be the first in the force's history to complete the important step solely online, due to health and safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new recruits began their training on January 18 and are the first to embark on the Degree Holders Programme – a two-year-course delivered at the force's specially-designed training facility at Meadowfield, near Durham.

Policing Skills Trainer, PC Jeff Summerhill, said: “Completing your attestation is always a defining moment in your officer training and these new recruits will definitely remember theirs.

“This continues to be an unprecedented time for the new officers but we are really looking forward to having them embark on their new careers as PCs and are sure they will embrace these challenges as all our officers always do.”