More than 3,000 extra officers join police in recruitment drive

Police ranks across England and Wales have been bolstered with an additional 3,005 officers since the government launched a major recruitment drive, according to figures released this week (30 April).

The figures follow the launch of the government’s campaign in September 2019 to recruit 20,000 extra officers over the next three years.

They show 3,005 recruits joined the police specifically as part of the uplift programme. In total, forces recruited 6,435 officers from November 2019 to March 2020, including recruitment planned before the government campaign was announced.

The statistics show that forces across England and Wales have successfully accelerated their recruitment plans and are on track to meet their target of 6,000 by March 2021.

There are now a total of 131,596 officers, a 5% increase on March 2019 – of which uplift officers account for approximately half.

This morning, the Home Secretary held a Zoom call with new recruits at Lancashire Constabulary, where she thanked them for stepping up to join the police and protect the public, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Each one of these brave officers will make a difference in helping to cut crime and keep people safe. For many, their first role has been to join the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.

Thanks to new digital assessment centres, the doors remain wide open for anyone who wants to join them and make a difference in their community.

Getting more police officers on the streets is an absolute priority for the British people – and this Government.

The College of Policing has announced it is rolling out new online assessment centres, which will ensure that recruitment continues during the coronavirus outbreak.

The college’s online assessment process will take candidates through situational judgement tests, briefing exercises and interviews. The first forces, including West Midlands and Hampshire, are already trialling this platform and the service will be launched nationally in June.

New recruits are receiving tailored training so they can be safely deployed to the frontline and support the police’s emergency response as soon as possible.