Over 70,000 people have applied to become police officers within the first six months of the new Government Recruitment drive.
All hoping for Police Success. It is believed that between October and May 78K people applied to be Police officers.
The huge influx in applications follows the announcement that UK officer numbers across the UK would be uplifted by 20,000.
The recruitment drive was launched as part of Boris Johnson’s general election pledge to bring more officers back to the streets.
During the Coronavirus outbreak, there was a huge spike in applications with more people thinking of a career within the police.
During the Coronavirus outbreak, Police Hour in partnership with Rank Success launched Police Success which will support those looking to join the police and guide them through the recruitment programme offering those who want to stand out from the crowd the best resources and support.
West Midlands Police, the second largest force in the country, saw an estimated 75% increase in applications in one week.
Before the pandemic, the force said it typically saw an average of around 140 applications a week – and this shot up to around 240 applications for the first week of April.
Many of the new recruits are already out patrolling the streets, either as part of their training or having completed the course.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “These new officers are truly inspiring and I’m delighted to see that the first of our planned 20,000 recruits are already helping to control the spread of the virus and save lives.
“Getting more officers on the streets to keep us all safe is an absolute priority for the British people and there’s never been a better time to join the police.
“If you want to make a difference, I would encourage you to apply.”
Boris Johnson vowed to swell the police service to more than 140,000 officers by mid-2022 if he was elected Prime Minister.
Police officer numbers in England and Wales have fallen by more than 20,000 since 2009, with a reduction from 144,353 to 122,395 in 2018.
Previously John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said half a million applications would be needed to fill almost 55,000 new and existing police officer posts in order to make the Government’s recruitment drive a success.
But in April, the Home Office said the recruitment programme was “on track” to meet the first year’s target of 6,000 by March 2021 and officers would be in addition to those hired to fill existing roles.
According to the latest official figures, forces hired 3,005 extra officers in the first six months of the recruitment drive – taking the overall provisional headcount of officers in England and Wales 131,596.
This is a 5% rise on March last year, of which the recruitment drive accounts for approximately half, the Home Office report said.
When the first phase of the rollout was announced in October, the department pledged to provide £750 million to support the 43 forces to recruit up the first wave of officers by the end of 2020/21.
This funding would cover all associated costs, including training and kit.
Online assessment centres, among other measures, have been taken in efforts to keep recruitment going during the coronavirus pandemic.