Force just under Year 1 recruitment target

The Force only needs to recruit nine more people to hit its first year allocation of new officers under the Government’s uplift plan.

Shortly after becoming Prime Minister last year, Boris Johnson announced plans to recruit 20,000 new officers during a three-year recruitment drive.

Gwent was given a Year 1 allocation of 62 new officers and an update from the Government yesterday confirms the Force had recruited 53 of these by the end of September this year.

“We are definitely getting there,” says Steve Thorpe, chair of Gwent Police Federation, “It has been a big ask getting the recruitment processes all up and running again after the austerity years when we only took on a limited number of recruits.

“But we have seen numbers steadily increase and we will be able to build on these in Year 2. The new recruits will be welcome additions to the Force and will help ease the heavy burden put on our current officers when they were trying to meet increased demand with reduced resources.

“We now need to see a long-term and consistent investment in policing so forces can effectively serve their communities.”

National Federation chair John Apter, responding to the Government’s update on the uplift, said more needs to be done to attract new police recruits with previous life experience and those from military or public sector backgrounds.

He explained: “To have a healthy mix of new recruits with life experience is good for policing and essential. We will continue to raise this point with the Home Office. As the programme continues, it is also vital for the service to be more representative and reflect the communities we serve. More needs to be done to recruit officers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

“While good progress has been made, we need to continue to do all we can to ensure policing is an attractive profession for all members of the communities we serve.”