More police to keep our communities safe

One of the first announcements made by the new Prime Minister was confirmation that an extra 20,000 police officers will be recruited to keep our communities safe.

I asked Boris Johnson in the House of Commons for further details on this initiative, and the following day Number 10 confirmed just how quickly this process would begin.

This Home Office-led recruitment drive to deliver more frontline officers will start in September with the launch of a national campaign. As the Prime Minister said, people want to see more officers in their neighbourhoods, protecting the public and cutting crime.

Recruitment is to be completed over the next three years, and to support this drive plans will be set out shortly for a new national policing board. This will bring together key police leaders and is to be chaired by the new Home Secretary, to hold police to account for meeting this target and to drive the national response to the most pressing issues affecting communities.

Any officer – serving, retired, and those recruited in the future – deserve our support. This is why I was pleased to see 60 MPs join me and the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, in backing a successful campaign to commit to the introduction of a Police Covenant, which would include measures to protect mental health of serving and retired officers, equip officers with the right resources and necessary powers to do the job.

The Covenant is also supported by the Police Superintendents’ Association and the Chair of the Police Federation of England. A consultation is to take place in due course on the details and scope of the Police Covenant.

I have great admiration for those who serve their community and keep us safe, and the Police Covenant is one way we can give something back and say thank you.

Henry Smith MP