David Warburton MP Welcomes Government Announcement of Major Police Recruitment in the South West

South West police forces will recruit 423 new officers in the first wave of a 20,000 uplift

9th October, 2019 - - David Warburton, MP for Somerton and Frome, has welcomed the announcement today by Home Secretary Priti Patel MP of ambitious new police recruitment targets across the UK. 

The government has pledged £750 million to support police forces, allowing 6000 new police officers to be recruited nationwide in the first wave of a major new policing policy which will see the force for England and Wales increased by 20,000 officers over the next three years.

Police forces in the South West will be able to recruit a total of 423 new officers.

Avon and Somerset tops the South West recruitment facility, meaning a total of 137 new officers in the first year, increasing police numbers by 5%.

During the first year Devon & Cornwall Police will be able to recruit 141 new officers, which will increase their officer numbers by 5%.  Dorset police will be able to recruit 50 new officers, increasing their officer numbers by 4%.  Gloucestershire Constabulary will be able to recruit 46 new officers, increasing their officer numbers by 4% while Wiltshire Police will be able to recruit 49 new officers, which will increase their officer numbers by 5%.

All officers recruited as part of the 20,000 uplift will be additional to those hired to fill existing vacancies. The new appointments are also on top of the extra officers already being recruited thanks to the £1 billion increase in police funding for 2019-20, which includes money from council tax and for serious violence.  Government funding for recruitment in 2020-21 will cover all associated costs, including training and kit.

The Home Secretary set out her vision for policing yesterday when she chaired the second meeting of the National Policing Board, involving representatives of frontline officers and police leaders.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside. This is the people’s priority and it is exactly what the Government is delivering. This means there will be more than 400 more officers across the South West, helping to reassure communities and keep them safe.”

David Warburton MP for Somerton & Frome welcomed Ms Patel’s announcement.  He said, ““Rural Somerset has suffered for too long with police numbers reducing, often leaving residents feeling that the protection they need isn’t visible enough. I’ve been pressing for increased resources and police on the ground for some time, so am delighted to see that, here in Somerset and Avon, we’ve secured the largest numbers in the South West for this much-needed increase.”

David continued, “It’s a good start, and will certainly make a difference, but we will need more.  I am keen that – following the forthcoming election – we hold the Government to account and ensure that the numbers of police continue to increase.  Rural areas, in particular, need to be secure and safe in the knowledge that the police service is always there for them when they need it.”