An extra 1,420 officers have joined police forces across England and Wales in the past 3 months, as the government continues its unprecedented drive to recruit 20,000 additional police officers by March 2023.
Figures released today (25 January) show that more than 16,700 additional police officers have joined the police since April 2020 as part of the government’s pledge to get more police officers on our streets.
Today’s figures mean that the government has met 84% of that target and is well on the way to recruiting 20,000 new officers by March.
The figures released today also show the number of police officers from an ethnic minority background is at an all-time high, as the government’s recruitment campaign works to change the face and culture of policing.
While there is more to do to ensure policing is representative of the communities it serves, there are 11,691 police officers who identify as being from an ethnic minority, more than ever before.
There are also now 51,107 female officers in our 43 police forces in England and Wales, which is also at its highest point.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said:
Improving confidence in our police forces means we must attract the brightest and the best to one of the toughest but most rewarding jobs in our country. I am delighted we are on track to deliver our bold promise to the British people of putting 20,000 additional officers on the streets.
This next generation of brave police officers will add to efforts to drive down invasive crimes like burglary and neighbourhood offences, return to common sense policing and make our communities feel safer and stronger.
New recruits are subject to a rigorous vetting and assessment process to assess suitability for the role of police officer, including testing against core behaviours and values.
Policing and Crime Minister Chris Philp said:
Policing is a career like no other and I am proud so many thousands of people in England and Wales want to put themselves forward to protect their communities from danger – in a challenging, essential and rewarding job.
In a matter of months, when this once-in-a-generation recruitment drive is complete and we have a record number of officers across England and Wales, our police forces will be more representative than ever of the communities they serve.
The overwhelming majority of new recruits recently surveyed report positive job satisfaction and want to remain officers for the rest of their working lives, and compared to other public sectors, voluntary resignations in policing remain low at 2.5%.
The rate of uplift growth varies by quarter with the June and December quarters traditionally slower. This is due to the way that forces plan recruitment to hit their annual targets.
Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Martin Hewitt said:
We are getting really close to achieving an additional 20,000 officers into policing nationwide and I am pleased to see great progress with this ambition from all forces.
All of our police forces are working hard to recruit new officers who meet nationally agreed College of Policing standards by the end of March and although we are nearly there, we know how important it is to continue to focus our efforts on making sure policing is as diverse and representative as the communities we serve.
Overall funding for policing will rise by up to £287 million in the next financial year (2023-24) compared to the 2022-23 funding settlement, bringing the total up to £17.2 billion for the policing system. In addition every police officer received a £1.9k uplift to their salary with effect from 1 September 2022, which equalled up to an 8.8% increase for those on the lowest pay points.
All recruits must meet the standards set by the College of Policing and the government has worked with chief constables and the college to modernise, standardise and increase resilience in the recruitment process to ensure forces are able to hire the additional officers to keep communities safe.
Anyone interested in applying to their local force can visit Join the Police to find out more.