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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Boris Johnson to launch recruitment for 20k cops in weeks

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Prime Minster Boris Johnson in ploughing millions of pounds worth of investment into policing.

He promised us 20,000 new cops and within weeks he will begin recruiting the next generation of police officers increasing front line officers across England & Wales.

The College of Policing has welcomed the pledge but has warned it will bring logistical challenges.

They have warned that the challenge is more than just getting people through the doors they will need to be trained and the quality of cops who used to be tutor cops is not as strong as it used to be.

Forces in England and Wales lost more than 20,000 officers between September 2009 and September 2017.

Mr Johnson said he wanted the recruitment – which will be overseen by a new national policing board – to be completed over the next three years.

Mr Johnson said: “People want to see more officers in their neighbourhoods, protecting the public and cutting crime.”

Downing Street said a recruitment campaign would begin in September, with forces held to account for meeting the target by a new board, bringing together police leaders and led by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Newly appointed Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said the plans would cost around £500m in the first year, but said “we still have to work out the exact number”.

He said: “In the end that money is going to come from general taxation or indeed some of the headroom we’ve got fiscally on the borrowing. 

“You deal with what the priority is and you make the rest fit,” said Mr Malthouse.

But some forces are concerned they don’t have enough training instructors and police stations to support a rapid expansion.

New rules requiring candidates to have a degree or study for one on the job may restrict the number of potential applicants in some areas, while in others the competition for skilled workers is so fierce there are fears the target may not be reached. 

What’s significant is that the recruitment campaign will be led by the Home Office and overseen by a new policing board. 

It suggests a return to a more centralised approach after years when ministers pursued a localism agenda, redirecting decision-making towards police and crime commissioners. 

Police recruitment on the scale and in the period now promised by Boris Johnson has never been done before in modern times.

In the last 40 years there have been three major recruitment surges:

  • Between 1978 and 1983 officer numbers went up by around 12,700 from 106,700 to 119,400.
  • Between 1985 and 1991 they increased from 118,600 to 125,400, a rise of about 6,800.
  • Between 2000 and 2005 officer numbers went up from 124,100 to 141,200, a rise of 17,100 – over five years.
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Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood is the editor and news reporter covering national and international news crime and policing news. Tweet your news and views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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