1 May 2020
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton says the 60 new officers recruited to the Force will help during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
New figures released by the Home Office reveal that the number of officers in Derbyshire has risen from 1,827 to 1,887 since the Government launched its uplift programme in September. Derbyshire was allocated an uplift of 85 officers in the first year of the programme.
Tony said: “It’s really encouraging to see an uplift in the number of officers on the Force as we face the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent recovery to whatever normality looks like in the future.
"Selecting, recruiting and training this number of new officers presented a challenge even without the COVID-19 issue so the task is now even more difficult. However, we very much look forward to welcoming new officers and will support the Force however we can in its endeavours.
“The uplift will help us to deliver the day-to-day service of policing our communities at a time when we’re faced with this unprecedented crisis.
“This is a good start to the recruitment drive, but there is a lot of work still to do. We need to ensure that not only are we recruiting new officers after years of cuts but that we also do what we can to retain existing officers.”
Almost as soon as Boris Johnson took over as Prime Minister, the Government pledged to recruit 20,000 extra officers in England and Wales with a three-year recruitment campaign. A total of 6,000 officers were to be recruited in the first year.
The new Home Office figures show that 3,005 officers have been recruited across England and Wales since the programme launched in September.
National Federation chair John Apter said: “This is good news for policing and provides a lifeline we have desperately needed for many years. Whilst this does not undo the damage done by a decade of cuts to policing, it is definitely a step in the right direction to rebuild what we had before austerity measures hit hard.”
In total, forces recruited 6,435 officers from November 2019 to March 2020, including recruitment planned before the Government campaign was announced.
There is now a total of 131,596 officers, a five per cent increase on March 2019.
John added: “While the support from the Home Secretary and Policing Minister to initiate the uplift programme is very welcome - we need reassurance that the Government will fund years two and three of this programme and see this through to the end.
“I completely accept that as a result of the current crisis the Government has financial pressures, but policing must be a priority and a genuine increase of 20,000 officers is essential so my colleagues can keep the public safe”