COMMUNITIES in Warwickshire are set to see more visible policing as officer numbers, already heading for a decade high, will receive government funding for additional frontline constables.
The Home Office has confirmed that the force will receive funding to recruit an extra 41 officers by the end of 2020 to 2021.
The announcement tops a record-breaking year for officer recruitment for Warwickshire Police, with the force already on track to top 1,000 officers for the first time since 2009. The substantial increase in officers will significantly ease the pressure on frontline staff, enhance visible policing and improve public confidence, further protecting communities in Warwickshire from harm.
The news means that, by 2021, Warwickshire Police’s strength is expected to grow to 1,012 officers, achieving one of the key targets set out in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.
Commenting on the Home Office’s announcement, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Overwhelmingly, people I meet tell me they want to see more police officers on our streets, dealing with the issues which matter most to them while also making sure that every effort is made to tackle some of the less visible crimes which affect society. This is therefore exceptionally good news for communities’ right across Warwickshire, who will welcome seeing more police officers being recruited to help keep their communities safe.
“I increased the police precept both this year and last in order to recruit an unprecedented 150 extra officers into frontline policing in Warwickshire and we are already seeing the benefits of the extra capacity and capability they bring. This extra new investment in officers from the Government over the next year can only help improve this further.
“This will reverse the reductions in officer numbers seen under austerity and will see Warwickshire Police very much on target to have the highest ever headcount in its long 162-year history. I’m delighted with this news and will be working hard with the force to ensure they continue their excellent progress in recruiting these new officers.”
Alex-Franklin-Smith, Assistant Chief Constable at Warwickshire Police, said: “We very much welcome this substantial uplift in officer numbers, which will help us better protect our communities and meet the demands and complexities of policing today.
“This national uplift is additional to our current recruitment drive, which has broken force records for the number of new officers joining Warwickshire Police, with a further 121 recruits expected by the end of the financial year. As well as being a generational increase in officer numbers, this gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to increase the diversity of our workforce, attracting and retaining the best staff from a range of backgrounds to serve the public.”