Force records five per cent increase in new officers 

Officer numbers within the Force increased by 68 in the 12 months to March 2022, according to new figures from the Home Office.

The newly-released data shows the Force had 1,430 officers on 31 March this year compared with 1,362 on the same date the year before. 

The 5 per cent increase at Gwent Police Force is just above the national figure of 4 per cent which equates to 4,927 extra officers and brings the total number of serving officers across England and Wales to 140,228. 

Home Office officials said the latest figures revealed the second highest number of recruits in a year since records began, just behind the year ending March 2020 when there were 12,883 new officers. 

The recruitment drive is part of the Government’s Police Uplift Programme which aims to bring in 20,000 new officers by next March.

Gwent Police Federation interim chair Christopher Back said: “We are pleased to see that the Force is sitting above the national average with the number of new recruits this past year. An increase of 68 officers is very welcome as we look to offer the best possible policing services to the communities we serve.

“As the recruitment drive continues to further support the Government Uplift Programme, a focus is needed on officer retention too. This is something I believe is just as important as recruitment.  

“We’re still seeing struggles with training as new recruits rightly relying on our experienced officers who are unfortunately spread too thinly with their own responsibilities.”

Christopher believes the Force and the Government should ensure measures are put in place to help retain both new recruits and experienced officers and says more needs to be done to make sure officer pay reflects the challenges and dangers of policing.