North East police to get 325 new officers in Boris Johnson's recruitment drive

Chronicle Live 2 months ago

North East police forces are to receive funding to recruit 325 additional officers, as the Government begins the recruitment drive promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Recruitment will begin next year, funded with a share of £750 million allocated to forces cross the country. Northumbria Police will be able to recruit 185 new officers, while Durham Police will be able to recruit 68 and Cleveland Police will be able to recruit 72.

 It's the first stage of a recruitment drive set to last three years in total.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "All forces across the North East will be able to recruit more officers to help keep communities safer."

Home Secretary Priti Patel

Recruiting more police was one of Mr Johnson's pledges when he stood for the Conservative leadership. In total, the Government says there will be an extra 20,000 police nationwide once the recruitment drive is over.

Critics, however, point out that this simply brings police numbers roughly back to where they were in 2010 - before the Conservative-led government cut police funding, which led to a drop in police numbers.

Steve White, Acting Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for Durham Constabulary said: “I welcome the news that the first wave of resources from the Government, will mean a further 68 officers for the people and communities of County Durham and Darlington.  Whilst welcome, there is still a long way to go before we have anywhere near the number of officers that we have lost over the past years.

I hope that the Government will ensure a fair deal for the constabulary, as the uplift hopefully continues over the next three years. ”

Guy Opperman, Pensions Minister
MP Guy Opperman

Hexham Conservative MP Guy Opperman welcomed the announcement. He said: "An extra 185 police officers across Northumbria is a welcome boost in the fight to keep people safe and fight crime across our region.

“These new recruits are a clear message to criminals about serious this Government is about tackling crime and anti-social behaviour and a warning to anyone thinking of turning to crime that we will be out to stop them.

“This Government will do more in the fight against crime, but this first step, as well as giving police officers all the powers and resources they need to protect themselves and others from harm, is much needed.

“Now I call upon Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner to make sure the force is in the position to carry out effective recruitment so we can see these officers in action on our streets as soon as possible.”

John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, appeared to back concerns that the way the money for new police officers has been allocated may not be fair.

He said: "These figures have been based on the current funding formula models and while this method is not perfect, I accept it is the only solution available to deliver the numbers quickly in year one.

"We now need to ensure that the formula is revisited for future years to ensure a fairer allocation of officers across all forces, but this is certainly a positive start and will provide a much-needed boost to my members and the communities they serve."

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