Henry Smith MP welcomes boost in local police officer numbers

Henry Smith MP has welcomed the announcement that police ranks in Sussex have been bolstered with an additional 88 officers since the Government launched its major recruitment drive last autumn.

Across England and Wales more than 3,000 extra officers have joined the police since the September 2019 recruitment campaign commenced, confirming the Government is on target to recruit 20,000 extra officers over the next three years.

Henry said;

“I’m delighted that because of actions taken by this Government, Sussex has been boosted by 88 more officers so far in the first recruitment phase – meaning more police on our streets to cut crime and keep us all safe.

“At this time of national emergency, these additional officers have never been so important.

“By backing our police with the funding and resources they need, we’ll better be able to reduce offending and fear of crime.”

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

There are now a total of 2,825 officers in Sussex, with 131,596 across England and Wales.

The recruitment drive is at the centre of the Government’s commitment to back the police with more resources, powers and support to keep communities safe.

Other steps include the biggest funding boost for the policing system in a decade, a new covenant to recognise the service and sacrifice of the police, funding to provide over 8,000 more officers with Tasers to keep themselves and the public safe, expanded stop and search powers, and plans to consult on increasing the maximum sentence for assaulting police officers and other emergency service workers.

Alongside new recruits, the Government has also taken further action to support the police’s coronavirus response.

This includes testing for all essential workers, including police officers and support staff; the relaxation of tax rules to encourage officers nearing retirement and those recently retired to serve; and the unlocking of £84 million for forces to use in the fight against coronavirus.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, commented;

“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.”