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Nearly 100 new officers to be hired by West Mercia Police

By Mat Growcott | Crime | Published:

Nearly 100 new officers will be hired by West Mercia Police as part of a drive to recruit 20,000 across the country.

Police and crime commissioner John Campion said the 93 additional officers would be building on the 215 recently announced by the force.

The news has been welcomed by Bridgnorth MP Philip Dunne, but Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies said there was not enough new recruits to make up for cuts since spending cuts in 2010.

Money for the new recruits will come from a Government programme to recruit 20,000 new police officers across the country.

Mr Campion said: "I am delighted The Prime Minister is making good his commitment to deliver 20,000 additional police officers with this down payment of 93 new officers for West Mercia. The additional officers will make a real difference to our communities.

“It is right we give our local police the resources and support they need to protect our communities and keep our police safe. This builds on my recent investment of 215 Police Officers and will reinforce the message to criminals that if they commit crime in a West Mercia they will feel the full force of our well-equipped police force.”

Councillor Davies said: "These numbers do not make up for the cuts in police numbers across the country since the Conservative began to cut spending on police in 2010.

"I urge John Campion to restore police numbers in Telford and Wrekin to 2010 number and increase them given the population growth.

"John Campion seems to be more interested in empire building by taking over the Fire Authority or spending thousands of pounds attempting to break historical agreements with other police forces than protecting the blue line here in Telford and Wrekin."

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Mr Dunne said: "I am delighted West Mercia Police will begin immediate recruitment of some 93 new officers, to help keep our streets safer. I am sure this will be welcomed by people in South Shropshire."

It will be a matter for West Mercia's Chief Constable to decide where in the region officers will be allocated.

The new officers are in addition to the 215 that have been previously announced for the force. Most, if not all of the 215, are expected to be in post by the end of the year.

Further afield, West Midlands Police will immediately be able to recruit an extra 366 officers, Staffordshire will get an additional 90 and Warwickshire will be able to hire 41 new recruits.

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That means an extra 590 officers across the West Midlands region.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to recruit 20,000 new officers in 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.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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