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Wiltshire Police Federation

Fed Chair's Message re Government's pledge to recruit 20,000 additional police officers

26 July 2019

Wiltshire Police Federation

You’ll be aware that the new Prime Minister has made a pledge to increase police officer numbers by 20,000 within three years.  How this will impact on Wiltshire Police is still to be seen but the fact it is finally being recognised that the cuts have went too deep is welcome news.

I believe this fundamental shift in the message coming from the new government is in no small part due to your hard work from our central Federation colleagues lobbying MPs about the negative impact of police cuts. Without a doubt they have made a difference to the thinking of the new government and the positive pledges they are now making.

I personally have been pushing both internally with our Leadership team and externally through media outlets and our local politicians to highlight the need to increase our numbers.  I only hope the government ensure they appropriately fund these promises and return us to where we were before austerity with over 1200 police officers.  Then we can truly make a difference to our communities as well as tackling new emerging crime types.

My only worry is how we would train these unexpected (but welcome) numbers; as we have a reduced training teams, where we house them; as we have less police stations and how we ensure we have the kit and staff to support them; as we have cut funding to every department.  Fingers crossed this can be managed in an effective and efficient way.

The past decade has been a hard slog for policing; nobody can blame us for being cynical with such promises being made by the very government that has ripped the soul from the job. However, I genuinely feel there’s now a more positive tone coming from government, particularly from the new Prime Minister. Maybe, just maybe, we are turning a corner!

I will keep you updated as and when I know more.

Kind regards