More than 4,000 new police officers recruited in eight months

More than 4,000 new police officers recruited in eight months to keep government on track to meet 20,000 target

  • Overall provisional headcount of officers in England and Wales is now 133,131 
  • This includes 4,336 officers hired as part of 20,000 pledge, Home Office said
  • Prime Minister launched a public sector recruitment drive this morning

Police forces hired more than 4,000 extra officers in the first eight months of the Government’s recruitment drive to sign up 20,000 more over the next three years.

The overall provisional headcount of officers in England and Wales is now 133,131, according to Home Office figures to the end of June that were released today.

This includes 4,336 officers hired as part of the 20,000 pledge, the quarterly progress report said, with 89,950 applications to join a police force received since the campaign launched in October.

The figures mean that the Government is on target to meet Boris Johnson’s aim of recruiting 20,000 additional police officers in the next three years to undo previous Tory number cuts.

He launched a public sector recruitment drive this morning, urging the public to consider careers in the police, nursing, teaching and the probation service. 

Mr Johnson said: ‘We have seen more clearly than ever the heroic efforts of our public workers during this pandemic.

The overall provisional headcount of officers in England and Wales is now 133,131, according to Home Office figures to the end of June that were released today. This includes 4,336 officers hired as part of the 20,000 pledge’

Mr Johnson launched a public sector recruitment drive this morning, urging the public to consider careers in the police, nursing, teaching and the probation service

‘The fantastic teachers, police officers and NHS workers truly are the pride of the nation and embody the spirit of public duty that every one of us can aspire towards.

‘Together, we are on a mission to build back better – protect our NHS, make our streets safer, educate the next generation and unleash Britain’s potential.’ 

 Police officers were given a 2.5 per cent pay rise under plans announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this month.

But shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said: ‘It feels pretty rich for the Prime Minister to talk of valuing the public sector when the Covid-19 crisis has shown just how starkly his Government has let down our NHS and social care workers.

‘Let’s not forget that the reason the Prime Minister needs to launch a recruitment drive is because Conservative governments have cut our public services to the bone.

‘If the Government is serious about attracting people to work in the public sector then he needs to show that he values those who already do, giving them the equipment they need and the pay talks they deserve.’

Overall, 9,327 officers have joined forces since November, with the new recruits from the campaign being on top of those hired to fill existing vacancies or as part of other job adverts.

Boris Johnson vowed to swell the police service to more than 140,000 officers by mid-2022 if he was elected Prime Minister.

Police officer numbers in England and Wales have fallen by more than 20,000 since 2009, with a reduction from 144,353 to 122,395 in 2018.

All the figures gathered are provisional.

The Home Office pledged to provide £750 million to support the 43 forces to recruit up to 6,000 new officers by the end of 2020/21 as part of the first phase of the roll-out.

This funding would cover all associated costs, including training and kit.

When the recruitment drive was announced, some police chiefs called on the Government to make sure forces received their fair share of resources.

The three forces with the highest recruitment target for the first year are the Metropolitan Police (1,369), West Midlands (366) and Greater Manchester (347).

Other forces due to receive a big boost in their numbers this financial year include West Yorkshire (256), Merseyside (200), Northumbria (185) and Thames Valley (183).

Those to receive the lowest numbers of new recruits in the first year are Warwickshire (41), Dyfed-Powys (42) and City of London (44).

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