A PLEDGE by Warwickshire Police to bolster its ranks has been met.
As the latest crop of recuits joined the force at the start of their training, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe declared he had fulfilled his promise to boost police officer numbers to 1,100.
Delivering that number was a key pledge in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan for Warwickshire, as part of his wider plans to deliver visible and effective policing.
It means the county force now has the largest number of officers in its more-than-160-year history, restoring numbers back to and then well above pre-austerity figures.
The latest recruits – nine detective constables and eight police constables – were welcomed to the force last week by the Commissioner, Chief Constable Debbie Tedds and Deputy Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith.
Since 2016, the numbers of police officers in Warwickshire has grown from around 800 to just over the 1,100 mark, thanks to a combination of increases in the local council tax police precept and funding from the government’s national Police Uplift Programme. The force will now continue its recruitment programme to maintain numbers at or above 1,100.
Mr Seccombe said: “Successful policing requires a mix of the right numbers of personnel doing the right things at the right time, responding to the concerns that matter most to the local community. Since taking office, I have been determined to see police officer numbers grow and I am delighted that we have now hit the target I set out in my Police and Crime Plan to reach 1,100 officers.
“This has been a huge achievement and is among the largest – if not the largest – percentage increases in officer numbers seen by any force in England and Wales. Together with the new operational policing model the force is putting in place across the county in the coming months, the additional officers that are now coming on stream will help to make a noticeable difference to police visibility. This is a key issue for many residents.
“I was delighted to meet the latest recruits to the Warwickshire Police family and impress upon them the vital and valued role they will play for local communities as they begin their policing career.”
Mr Seccombe added: “Having now reached 1,100 police officers, the focus now must be to maintain these numbers and continue to seek opportunities to grow them further, while also ensuring we recruit Police Community Support Officers and police staff to fill vacancies across the force. Alongside the volunteers of the Special Constabulary, they make a vital contribution to supporting front line policing, so I will be doing all I can to support the force in achieving this in the coming months.”
Anyone interested in a career or volunteering with Warwickshire Police can find out more at www.warwickshire.police.uk/careers