Home Office announces recruitment targets for every police force in England and Wales

9 October 2019, 00:46 | Updated: 9 October 2019, 03:56

The Home Secretary has announced that every police force in England and Wales has been set a recruitment target as part of its drive to take on 20,000 new officers.

The move was announced by Priti Patel on Tuesday during a meeting with the National Policing Board, which was set up by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July to support the government's recruitment drive.

During the first wave of the scheme's roll-out, the Home Office says it will provide £750m to support all 43 forces to recruit around 6,000 officers by the end of 2020/21.

The funding should support all the associated costs of recruitment, including training and kit.

Ms Patel said: "The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside.

"This is the people's priority and it is exactly what the government is delivering.

"Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year to help keep all of our communities safer."

The force with the highest target is London's Metropolitan Police, with 1,369, which is 1,000 more than the force with the next highest target, West Midlands Police, with 366.

Greater Manchester Police is expected to take on 347 new officers, while West Yorkshire is set to see a boost of 256 officers in the region.

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The 20,000 new recruits are expected to be in addition to those taken on to fill existing vacancies in police forces.

Talking about the meeting with Ms Patel, the Police Federation of England and Wales' national chairman John Apter said: "Yesterday's meeting was constructive and it is important that we, as the largest police staff association, were at the table to ensure our members were represented.

"Investment in policing is long overdue and for the first time we now have the actual number of officers each local force will increase by in the next year.

"These figures have been based on the current funding formula models and while this method is not perfect, I accept it is the only solution available to deliver the numbers quickly in year one.

"We now need to ensure that the formula is revisited for future years to ensure a fairer allocation of officers across all forces, but this is certainly a positive start and will provide a much-needed boost to my members and the communities they serve."

Boris Johnson pledged to invest in police numbers during the Conservative leadership contest.

He launched the drive in September at a talk in West Yorkshire, which was marred in controversy after it was claimed the police officers standing behind Mr Johnson were unaware they would be used as a backdrop in what ended up being a speech about the EU.