New officers a chance to increase police diversity in West Mercia, police bosses say
The recruitment of nearly 100 new officers by West Mercia Police will give the force the opportunity to increase its diversity, bosses have said.
Martin Evans, assistant chief constable of West Mercia Police, said the 93 new officers coming to the area will make a 'welcome and visible' difference to community around the West Mercia area, including Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
His comments come after it was announced that the Home Office would fund an extra 93 officers by the end of 2020/21.
The force said the increase in officers will significantly ease the pressure on frontline staff, enhance visible policing and increase public confidence.
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The additional recruits will also provide the chance to hire people from a more socially diverse background.
Assistant Chief Constable Evans said: "Every part of our policing area will see a welcome boost as the new officers complete their training and go on patrol or begin their work to solve problems in local communities.
"The new recruits, together with the highly-dedicated police officers, PCSOs, Special Constables, police staff and volunteers that we already have, will be able to make a visible and welcome difference to our communities, helping to reduce crime and improving services to victims.
“Our focus remains on attracting and retaining the best applicants from a range of backgrounds to serve the public. A substantial uplift in officer numbers like this gives us the ideal opportunity to increase the diversity of our workforce. A diverse set of professional skills is needed to be a police officer, and policing benefits greatly from individuals with socially diverse backgrounds and experiences.
"With a larger, more representative and diverse workforce, we know that we can be more effective in improving the public’s confidence and trust in policing and be a more inclusive force.”
By the end of the year the force will be at its highest officer numbers since 2012, aided by the government’s new drive to recruit new police constables. The officers will be in addition to the 215 previously announced to be joining the force by the end of 2019, who are currently being recruited and trained.
Money for the recruitment will come from a Government programme to recruit 20,000 new police officers across the country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to recruit the 20,000 new officers within three years when he announced the plans in July.
Home Office figures show that forces in England and Wales lost 20,564 officers between March 2010 and March 2019.