Almost 6,000 officers join police as coronavirus enforcement steps up

The government’s campaign to recruit 20,000 additional officers over the next three years is ahead of schedule, with almost 6,000 new officers joining up to the end of September, statistics published today (Thursday 29 October) show.

One year on from the launch of the campaign, 5,824 extra officers have joined forces across England and Wales to the end of September 2020.

This means recruitment is well ahead of schedule, as the government had pledged to bring in an additional 6,000 police officers by March 2021.

New officers are working to help drive down crime and to make our streets safer, with statistics showing crime was already beginning to fall before the pandemic period began.

Over recent weeks the police have also been keeping the public safe by stepping up enforcement against those flouting rules in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Getting more police officers on our streets is a priority for the British people – therefore a priority for me.

Just one year since we began recruiting, I am delighted that there are nearly 6,000 of the 20,000 additional officers on our streets cutting crime and making your communities safer.

As we’ve seen from the frontline response to coronavirus, the work of each and every police officer helps to save lives and I would like to extend my gratitude to them, and to the new recruits, for joining the police and being a part of this heroic national effort.

The figures also show 12,675 new officers joined the 43 forces across England and Wales between November 2019 and September 2020. 5,824 of these were specifically recruited as part of the uplift programme. Others were recruited to backfill leavers or through locally funded recruitment.

There is now a total headcount of 134,885 officers across forces in England and Wales.

Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council:

These additional officers are most welcome as demand for policing services continues to increase.

The figures released today show a step forward but there is much more to be done, whether it is how we continue to attract and recruit our new officers or how we retain those already in service.

We are relentlessly working to achieve our ambition of being a diverse and inclusive service that is truly representative of our communities.

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, CEO of the College of Policing, said:

The figures released today demonstrate policing’s ability to adapt to challenges and continue to recruit new officers in difficult circumstances. I am pleased to see forces hitting recruitment numbers on this scale.

Bringing 20,000 new officers into the service presents an important opportunity for police forces to become more representative of the communities they serve.

It is encouraging to see more officers joining from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, however, our work to support representation in policing doesn’t stop here.

The service will continue to build on this progress, so that policing is able to best protect the public now and into the future.

The recruitment drive is at the centre of the government’s promise to back the police with more resources and support to tackle crime and keep communities safe.

For the first time, this publication includes data on the ethnicity and gender of officers who have joined forces since April 2020. Of the new recruits, 629 identified as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, representing 10.7% of recruits who stated their ethnicity.

The police workforce now includes 9,842 officers from these groups, making it more diverse than ever before.

The Home Secretary will visit Essex Police today to meet new recruits and hear about the force’s efforts in tackling key crimes as well as their tactics for attracting applicants from a range of backgrounds.

Since April, 9.9% of joiners to Essex Police identified as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic, compared to 6.8% of the region’s total population (ONS 2011 Census).

The recruitment drive is at the centre of the government’s promise to back the police with more resources and support to tackle crime and keep communities safe.

Anyone interested in applying to their local force can search ‘Join the Police’ to

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