Met recruiting thousands more officers in crackdown on violent crime

19 January 2021, 12:51 | Updated: 19 January 2021, 12:54

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick speaks on LBC
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick speaks on LBC. Picture: LBC

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Thousands more officers will be joining the Metropolitan Police in the coming months amid a recruitment drive in the battle against violent crime, Commissioner Cressida Dick has told LBC.

Dame Cressida told Nick Ferrari there are now 32,300 officers in the Met, with 1,300 additional officers set to be recruited in the next financial year and a total of 3,000 joining the force including replacing those who are leaving.

She said the Met is “recruiting very actively at the moment" after a brief pause “not because of Covid but because we’d actually done so well recruiting last year”.

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It comes after Boris Johnson pledged 20,000 new police officers in England and Wales within three years when he became Prime Minister in 2019.

Last summer, it was announced this had led to the largest annual increase in officers for 16 years.

The commissioner said: “We are currently at 32,300 officers and we went down just around the time I arrived to 28 something so that’s a big increase already thanks to extra investment from the Government and indeed from the Mayor.”

She added: “That will continue to rise, this coming financial year we’ll have another 1,300 joining us and overall that means we need to recruit, so we’re recruiting probably 3,000 people to have all the new extra ones together with replacing people who may leave because we’re a big organisation.

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“There’s great opportunities in the Met, I’m completely confident we’re going to get the people and of course they’ll be almost straight on the streets and helping the fight against violent crime.”

Speaking to LBC in December after announcing a £15.8 billion funding package for the police, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "I'm committed to recruiting 20,000 more police officers. This year alone we've got almost 6,000 that have been recruited, and on top of that this is a lot more money that's going on to the front line but also on training, equipping, supporting our police officers to cut crime because at the end of the day that's what we want.

"We want to see our officers go out there and bust those county line drug gangs, get more weapons and knives and guns off our streets, and to protect the public and this is all part of our package."

Ms Patel said more than 90,000 people had applied to join the police in England and Wales in the last 12 months.

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