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200 more officers for Welsh forces

30 January 2023

The number of officers serving in Wales went up by 213 in 2022, according to new figures from the Home Office.

Data released as part of a quarterly update on the Police Uplift Programme showed Wales had 7,781 officers in December compared with 7,568 last January.

South Wales Police added 121 officers as its headcount increased from 3,251 to 3,372 over the 12-month period.

Gwent Police officer numbers went up by 47 from 1,433 to 1,480, Dyfed Powys Police went up by 37 from 1,230 to 1,267 and North Wales Police saw its headcount rise from 1,654 to 1,662, an increase of eight.

Police Federation Welsh lead Nicky Ryan said she welcomed the increase in officers but warned the uplift figures had to be treated with caution.

She said:  “These extra officers are very good news for Wales but we have to acknowledge that we are only making up the numbers we’ve lost since 2011 and not increasing our frontline officers while the population has grown and more is being asked of us.

“And these gains could prove to be short-term unless more is done by the Government to retain officers and to deliver longer term sustained police funding.

“I want to see the Home Secretary make a commitment to sustainable funding for Welsh policing and ensure officer pay keeps pace with inflation and the rising cost of living.

“Getting more officers through the door is great, but to keep our new recruits and our experienced officers requires continued investment in training, equipment and supporting our officers through difficult times – we know this is the best job in the world, but it is also difficult, stressful and challenging.”

The Police Uplift Programme was a 2019 Government manifesto pledge.

Nationwide figures revealed that 16,753 new officers had now been recruited from funding for the scheme - 84 per cent of the target of 20,000 recruits by March.

There are now 145,658 officers in the 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales. 

A Home Office spokesman said:  “The Police Uplift Programme’s primary focus is to support the recruitment of officers across the 43 forces.

“Recruitment across each force is the responsibility of an operationally independent chief constable and held to account by a locally elected Police and Crime Commissioner.

“The Government has pledged to invest more £3.5 billion in policing between 2020 and 2023 in order to recruit 20,000 additional officers.

“Additional officers will support forces in tackling crime and making communities safer. The Police Uplift Programme is one of a range of initiatives the Government has implemented to support policing.”