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West Midlands Police Federation

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Recruitment progress welcomed

13 May 2020

West Midlands Police Federation secretary Steve Grange has welcomed the Force’s progress in recruiting new officers as part of the Government’s three-year pledge to boost officer numbers by 20,000 over a three-year period.

New figures released by the Home Office show that 3,005 of the 6,000 recruits expected to be taken on nationally in Year 1 have now been recruited.

The Force was allocated 366 of these – the second highest allocation of the 43 forces in England and Wales, with only the Metropolitan Police receiving a higher share.

The Force says it has recruited 233 of this figure.

“We welcome the Force’s efforts to rise to the challenge of recruiting hundreds of recruits in such a short time,” says Steve, “It has been almost like starting from a standstill after years of limited recruitment, so I am sure it has not been without its problems.

“But, hopefully, now the procedures and processes are back up and running, the Force can continue to build on progress to date so that we can get our numbers back nearer to where they need to be.

“However, we are still mindful of the fact that in the 10 years of Government cuts, West Midlands Police lost more than 2,000 officers and even after the three-year recruitment drive we are unlikely to even get our establishment figures back to where they were in 2010, despite a huge increase in the demand placed on the police service.

“We also have to remember that the issue of officer numbers is not constrained to getting people through the front door. It is equally important that we stop them leaving through the back door and we need to see a far greater effort from the Government in terms of addressing concerns around officer retention.”

In total, forces recruited 6,435 officers from November 2019 to March 2020, including recruitment already planned before the Government campaign was announced. There are now 131,596 officers, a five per cent increase on March 2019.

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