The Home Office has confirmed the officer recruitment targets for every police force in England and Wales for the first year of the unprecedented drive to increase their ranks by 20,000 over the next 3 years.
Strengthening police numbers is a priority for the government, which is providing £750million to support forces to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers onto our streets by the end of 2020-21, the first stage in this new uplift.
Hampshire Constabulary has been given a first-year recruitment target of 156 new officers. These new officers will be deployed across the region, including the Isle of Wight.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said:
“The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside.
“This is the people’s priority and it is exactly what the Government is delivering.
“Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year to help keep all of our communities safer”.
All officers recruited as part of the 20,000 uplift will be additional to those hired to fill existing vacancies. They are also on top of the extra officers already being recruited because of the £1 billion increase in police funding for 2019-20, which includes money from council tax and for serious violence.
Government funding for recruitment in 2020-21 will cover all associated costs, including training and kit.
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said:
“Yesterday’s meeting was constructive and it is important that we, as the largest police staff association, were at the table to ensure our members were represented.
“Investment in policing is long overdue and for the first time we now have the actual number of officers each local force will increase by in the next year.
“These figures have been based on the current funding formula models and while this method is not perfect, I accept it is the only solution available to deliver the numbers quickly in year one.
“We now need to ensure that the formula is revisited for future years to ensure a fairer allocation of officers across all forces, but this is certainly a positive start and will provide a much-needed boost to my members and the communities they serve”.
The Home Office has also announced £10 million of funding to increase the number of officers carrying Taser to keep themselves and the public safe and confirmed plans for a police covenant will focus on the physical protection of officers, their health and wellbeing and support for their families.