1 February 2021
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has welcomed an uplift of 67 officers to the Force as a ‘positive start’ to the Government’s three-year recruitment programme.
Tony says the extra officers are a valuable addition to the Force as it continues to face the unprecedented challenges of policing the pandemic.
But he says that work needs to be done to ensure new officers – and their experienced colleagues – are retained as the recruitment drive continues.
He was speaking as new Home Office figures show there were 1,894 officers in Derbyshire Police as at 31 December, up from 1,827.
“On behalf of Derbyshire Police Federation, I welcome all of our new recruits and wish them well in their police careers,” Tony said, “They’ll play an invaluable role in helping us to serve our communities at a time of unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic.
“This is a promising start, but there’s still lots of work to be done to hit our Year 1 allocation of 85 new colleagues and to continue to recruit and, crucially, retain officers as we go forward.”
The Home Office figures also revealed that since April 2020, almost 45 per cent of new recruits to Derbyshire Police have been female and 2.4 per cent who stated their ethnicity were from a Black, Asian, mixed or other ethnic group.
Tony said: “We need to work hard to ensure we’re recruiting from right across society because it’s vital that we’re representative of the communities we serve.”
Nationally, the Home Office figures show there were 135,248 officers in the 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales as at 31 December 2020 – an increase of 6,814 officers.
John Apter, national chair of the Federation, said: “With demands on police officers increasing and the continuing challenge policing the pandemic, it’s good to see the number of new recruits increasing.
“There simply aren’t enough officers at this time and the pandemic has shown just how fragile the resilience of the police service is as more and more officers report sick or self-isolate.”
He added: “We need to ensure there’s a consistent long-term recruitment programme and that everything possible is done not just to recruit, but also to retain those who join.
“We also need to see ensure that we don’t drive down the average age of recruits and continue to attract people with life experience. In addition, we need to use this recruitment drive to ensure a diverse police service, so that forces fully reflect the communities they serve.”