29 October 2021
The Force has recruited 125 new officers under the Government’s police uplift initiative, newly released statistics reveal.
Data from the Home Office showed the Force had 1,952 frontline officers by the end of last month with new recruits joining under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to boost officer numbers nationwide by 20,000 by 2023.
Derbyshire Police Federation branch chair Tony Wetton welcomed the increase in officers but warned there was still a long way to go before numbers had reached the necessary levels, particularly given that at the end of March 2010 the Force had 2,074 officers.
He said: “We obviously welcome the recruitment of extra police officers and the fact we are seeing more feet on the ground in Derbyshire and moving in the right direction.
“But we have to bear in mind that as we recruit we are still losing numbers at the other end of the process with retirements and resignations. Police officer numbers must not just return to pre-austerity levels, they must increase.
“Officers are also tackling a much heavier workload. We have seen huge increases in criminal areas such as cyber-crime and human trafficking over the last and the pressure on the police service and on individual officers has continued to grow.
“The pandemic then came along and brought with it massive changes to public expectations and perceptions of what we do.”
Tony also pointed out the influx of new officers all have to be trained and tutored within the Force so it will be at least two years before they are fully effective.
He added: “So the uplift is welcome but much more is needed to be done.”
Over the last year, Derbyshire was one of eight forces to have hired more women than men. Others were Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Sussex, Thames Valley, Kent and Suffolk.
“This is a very welcome development,” says Tony, “Police forces are striving to be more representative of the communities they serve and the fact more women are joining is a sign that policing is now being seen as an attractive career to women. I am sure that Force policies which are more family friendly will have an impact but perhaps also the fact that more women are making it to the very top of policing and holding chief officer roles is proving an inspiration.
“Of course, in our own Force we have a female Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable.
“I know that the Force are also very keen to improve representation in the workforce from other under-represented sections of our communities.”
Figures released by the Home Office revealed a provisional headcount of 139,908 officers in England and Wales at the end of September 2021 with 11,053 recruited from funding for the police uplift programme which has a target of 20,000 new officers by March 2023.
A further 421 additional officers have been recruited through other funding streams such as local council tax precepts.