Shropshire Star

Figures reveal rise in police force numbers

The number of police officers in West Mercia rose last year according to Home Office figures.

Another 41 police officers were recruited by West Mercia Police last year

The total rise was 41, an increase that follows a Government-backed recruitment drive.

The new data shows the headcount for the force in December was 2,395 compared with 2,354 last January, as a result of the Police Uplift Programme.

West Mercia Police Federation chair Peter Nightingale said he was pleased to see an increase in officer numbers and welcomed the new recruits to the Force.

He said: “We have always supported the Police Uplift Programme and welcome the increased headcount at West Mercia Police.

“The challenge now is to make sure the Force holds on to those new recruits by giving them the proper training and resources that they require.

“Pay is an issue that never goes away but making sure our new officers are properly rewarded for the difficult job they have taken on is very important.

“Officer retention has become quite a big issue in recent years and it is important that all police officers feel valued and respected.

“The Police Federation will do everything it can to support these young officers as they embark on their careers but the Force has to make sure this is a good place to work.”

The Police Uplift Programme was a 2019 Government manifesto pledge.

Nationwide figures revealed that 16,753 new officers had now been recruited from funding for the scheme– 84 per cent of the target of 20,000 recruits by March.

There are now 145,658 officers in the 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government has pledged to invest more £3.5 billion in policing between 2020 and 2023 in order to recruit 20,000 additional officers.

“Additional officers will support forces in tackling crime and making communities safer.

“The Police Uplift Programme is one of a range of initiatives the Government has implemented to support policing.”

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