Recruitment uplift reaches halfway mark

Government plans to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers by 2023 are close to halfway to complete, figures released today (July 28) have shown.

Jul 28, 2021
By Tony Thompson

A total of 9,814 police officers have been recruited across all 43 police forces in England and Wales since the uplift began.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am delighted we are already almost half-way there in delivering our commitment of 20,000 more police officers to fight crime by 2023.

“These figures aren’t just numbers. It means that thousands more police are out in communities protecting people, making our streets safer and supporting victims through some of the most difficult experiences of their lives.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “These 9,814 officers are already making a difference in neighbourhoods up and down the country, bearing down on criminals and keeping people safe.

“This increase in police numbers and the Beating Crime Plan we have launched show the Government’s determination to back the police, give them the powers they need to take away knives, shut down drug gangs and protect communities and vulnerable people from harm.”

The recruitment drive is also helping to make police more representative of the communities they serve. More than 6,000 (6,033) female officers have been recruited since April 2020, making up more than 4 in 10 (42 per cent) new recruits.

There are also more black, Asian and other ethnic minorities employed as officers across forces than at any other time in the country’s history, making up 11.3 per cent (1,557) of the new recruits.

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “These additional officers are most welcome as demand for policing services continues to increase post-coronavirus (Covid-19).

“The figures released today show a good step forward but there is much more to be done to continue to attract and recruit new officers and to retain those already in policing.”

Jo Noakes, director of workforce development at the College of Policing, said: “The police service has responded extremely well to the challenges of the pandemic, including adapting how we recruit. Today’s figures demonstrate that policing has been able to continue to bring new officers into the service in large numbers. This will ease the pressure on our existing workforce, help reduce crime, keep our communities safe and improve outcomes for victims.

“It is encouraging that at this scale of recruitment we are seeing more women and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds becoming police officers, it is important that forces really do representative the communities they serve.

“We are proud that the College of Policing’s new training for police constable recruits has already been adopted by the majority of police forces across England and Wales, which means many of these new officers will have benefitted from the up-to-date training that reflects the breadth and complexity of the important role they are undertaking.”

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