I'm sure the announcement that West Mercia Police Force has been bolstered by an additional 93 officers is very welcome to constituents and comes after the Government launched its major recruitment drive in September 2019. Since the start of the recruitment campaign, a total of 4,336 extra officers have joined police forces across England and Wales as a direct result of the recruitment drive.
These statistics confirm that the Government remains on track to hit its manifesto commitment of 20,000 extra officers by 2023, and that forces have successfully accelerated their recruitment plans to meet their target of 6,000 more officers by March 2021.The recruitment drive is at the centre of the Government’s commitment to back the police with more resources, powers and support to keep the public and their communities safe.
Earlier this month, it was announced that police pay will rise by 2.5 per cent this year, equivalent to a constable receiving an extra £1,100, and providing officers with an increase above inflation for the second year running, the largest pay rise in a decade. The Government has also launched a targeted consultation for doubling the maximum sentence for assaults on emergency workers to two years, and has set out plans for a Police Covenant, focusing on physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families.
Other steps to support our frontline officers include the £1.1 billion funding boost for the policing system this year – the biggest increase in a decade - funding to provide over 8,000 more officers with Tasers, and expanded stop and search powers so that officers can keep themselves and the public safe.
Getting more police officers onto our streets is one of the public’s priorities, and so I am delighted that West Mercia Police Force has been bolstered with an extra 93 officers so far. Every one of these officers will make an enormous difference in helping to cut crime and keep people safe, and I am reassured that many more will follow. By backing our police with the funding, powers and resources they need, we will keep the public and our communities safe, so that people everywhere can live their lives free from the fear of crime.