90 days from today is Wed, 30 December 2020
24 September 2019
West Midlands Police must be prioritised when 20,000 new police recruits are taken on nationwide, according to Police Federation secretary Steve Grange.
Steve was commenting on the launch of a Home Office recruitment campaign aimed at delivering on the Prime Minister’s pledge to give police forces the resources they need.
“Of course, we are fully behind this campaign. Nationally, we have seen officer numbers fall by around 23,000 since the Government cuts kicked in,” says Steve, “Here in the West Midlands we have seen our officer numbers reduced by 2,201 – we had 8,626 officers at the end of March 2010 and at the start of this month that had fallen to 6,425. In very simple terms, that is just not enough officers to serve our communities.
“The public have felt the consequences of police cuts in terms of an increase in crime, particularly violent offences, and police officers themselves have suffered as they have tried to do more with less. We have seen sickness levels go through the roof with stress and mental health issues taking their toll.
“While we have not seen any detail on how the 20,000 new officers will be shared among the 43 police forces across England and Wales, I believe that getting more officers into the West Midlands Police area should be seen as a priority.”
The Home Office campaign, urging people to join the police and ‘Be a force for all’, is the largest police recruitment drive in decades. Launched on 5 September, it features serving police officers including a neighbourhood officer, a police dog handler and a firearms officer. One of the officers started as a volunteer Special Constable, while another is a former charity executive who changed career.
They will appear on billboards and digital displays, including locations such as shopping centres and train stations, across England and Wales as well as in a radio advertisement. A second phase of advertising is planned for the new year.
A new website has also been set up to provide potential recruits with more information and direct them to force recruitment pages.
A National Policing Board, chaired by the Home Secretary and bringing together Government and police leaders, has been set up to oversee the recruitment drive and other major policing issues.
Chancellor Sajid Javid announced funding to support the recruitment of a first wave of up to 6,000 officers. This includes £750 million for 2020-21 and an immediate £45 million to kick-start recruitment.
The remaining 14,000 officers will be recruited in 2021-22 and 2022-23 through extra central funding and will be on top of extra officers hired to fill existing vacancies.