The British Government is on track to bring in 20,000 more officers by 2023 and make £20m available to crack down on crime including burglary and theft.

The government is bolstering the police with extra officers and resources to cut crime and keep communities safe, as new statistics show that an additional 6,620 officers have joined forces across England and Wales.

The figures published today (Thursday 28 January), which show progress from the launch of the campaign up to the end of December, mean that the government’s campaign to recruit 20,000 additional officers over the next three years remains ahead of schedule, having exceeded the target to recruit 6,000 officers by March.

Of the new recruits, many will already be out supporting the ongoing police response to the pandemic, helping to stop the spread of coronavirus by assisting with enforcement action against those flouting the rules.

The recruitment drive is at the centre of the government’s promise to back the police with more resources and support to cut crime, and today the Home Secretary has also announced an additional £20 million to help crack down on ‘neighbourhood crimes’ like burglary, robbery, theft and vehicle crime.

This funding forms the second round of the Safer Streets fund, which launched in January last year. It will be open to both Police and Crime Commissioners and Local Authorities and go towards local-crime cutting interventions in residential areas.

This includes simple changes to the design of high-crime areas, such as improved home security, increased street lighting and the installation of CCTV.

The announcement will bring total investment in Safer Streets to £45m over two years, supporting even more areas that are disproportionately affected by neighbourhood crime with the tools to deliver tangible and sustainable impacts.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

I am delighted we have exceeded our own target to recruit 6,000 additional police officers by March 2021.

Keeping our streets is my absolute priority and many of these new officers are already on our streets helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic, and for that they get my huge thanks.

These new officers, on top of further funding to tackle crimes such as burglary, robbery and vehicle crime will ensure the police have the powers, tools and resources they need to cut crime and make you feel safer in your community.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair Martin Hewitt:

These additional officers are most welcomed and have already started to make their difference in our communities.

We are more representative than ever before but still have a long way to go before we truly represent those we serve.

I would like to thank those who have worked with us to achieve this number of 6,620 additional officers, in particular policing networks and associations.

Bernie O’Reilly, interim CEO of the College of Policing:

Today’s recruitment figures demonstrate, once again, policing’s ability to adapt to challenges and continue to bring new officers into the service in difficult circumstances.

We must continue to build on this progress to ensure we have a strong, diverse and well-supported police force that helps keep the public safe for years to come.

I’m pleased that we are able to support forces through our online assessment process, which allows the police service to continue to recruit new officers during this critical time, and also through the updated Safer Streets Fund toolkit, which supports policing to implement crime prevention initiatives.

Today the Home Secretary will visit Hertfordshire Police to meet with new recruits and hear about their work responding to the pandemic.

The Policing Minister will also be hosting a Zoom call with new officers and others from Nottinghamshire Police, to hear about the work the force is doing within the Safer Streets project, as well as supporting the coronavirus response.

Figures today also show that diversity within the police workforce continues to grow.

Of all new recruits, 788 identified as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, representing 10.2% of recruits who stated their ethnicity. This means the police workforce now includes 9,871 officers from these groups, making it more diverse than ever before.

Also released today are figures for the entire police workforce across England and Wales. These figures show that as at 30 September 2020, the workforce had 216,155 (FTE) officers, staff and PCSOs – a total increase of 5.5% on the previous year.

Anyone interested in applying to their local force can search ‘Join the Police’ to find out more.


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