Force success with recruitment drive

 

4 May 2021

Gwent Police Federation chair Steve Thorpe says the Force has turned around its recruitment campaign after hitting its allocation for  the first year.

New Home Office figures show that Gwent Police has had an uplift of 76 officers since the Government’s Police Uplift Programme was launched, putting it ahead of its allocation of 62.

That’s in contrast to the last set of Home Office figures released in January which showed the Force had only had an uplift of 27 officers.

Steve said: “This is really pleasing to see the Force turn the recruitment campaign around and get it right on track. It’s been an unprecedented period with the pandemic and the Force faced many challenges in its recruitment.

“A lot of hard work has gone in to get it on track, it’s great to be able to welcome our new recruits to the Force. Policing is a fantastic and rewarding job and we wish them all the best in their roles.”

Steve said the challenge now was to retain the new recruits and their experienced colleagues after the Home Office figures showed Gwent Police recruited a total of 178 new officers during the first stage of the campaign.

“We need to make sure the hard work in getting to this stage doesn’t go to waste and that we’re able to retain not only our new recruits but also our experienced officers,” he said.

“We don’t want to see a brain drain, but their knowledge and expertise harnessed to help our new recruits to develop.”

Nationally, the Home Office figures show there were 137,704 officers in the 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales as at 31 March – an increase of 8,771 officers.

Meanwhile, forces are being encouraged to use new tax breaks to recruit more officers from military backgrounds.

Companies and public sector organisations which employ armed forces veterans are now exempt from paying National Insurance contributions during the first 12 months of their employment.

This new tax relief came into force on 6 April and is available to every employer - regardless of when a veteran left the regular armed forces. 

National chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter said: “This is good news and shows the Government recognises the value and contribution veterans can bring through their life experiences and strong transferable skills.

“As part of our current national recruitment campaign, forces need to grab this opportunity with both hands and do all they can to recruit people with life experience, and this includes ex-military who can contribute so much to policing.”