West Mercia Police has gained an additional 93 new police officers since the government launched a major recruitment drive, according to figures released recently.
This follows the launch of the government’s Police Uplift campaign in September 2019 to recruit 20,000 extra officers in England and Wales over the next three years.
The figures show 9,327 new officers joined 43 forces across England and Wales between October 2019 and June 2020. 4,336 of these were specifically recruited as part of the uplift programme, while others were recruited to backfill leavers or through locally funded recruitment.
The uplift includes 93 additional officers for West Mercia Police. This means that the force has already met its target set by the government, and joins other forces on their way to meeting the first target of 6,000 additional officers in England and Wales by March 2021.
Recruitment has continued at pace during the coronavirus pandemic, with West Mercia Police adopting innovative solutions to bring in new talent.
The 93 officers are just part of a large intake of police constables this year at West Mercia Police, forming over half of 181 officers starting their policing journey with the force since January. These include 12 new officers who were welcomed to the force this week via the Police Now National Graduate Programme. The programme trains and develops graduates to police with West Mercia’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams, understanding the issues in communities and developing innovative ideas and techniques to tackle challenges.
Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Jones said: “Our police officers have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic in keeping the people, roads and homes of our policing area safe, and have clearly inspired many others to join them.
“These additional officers are very much welcomed and will help us ease the pressure on our existing workforce, reduce crime and improve outcomes for victims, whilst helping us to improve the diversity of our staff.
“Even during the height of the COVID-19 challenge, West Mercia Police continued to recruit and train new officers. However, we are not complacent and our focus remains on the recruitment challenge of attracting those who are currently under-represented to consider a career with us.”
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “Our communities want to see visible policing, so I have been pleased, along with the Government support, to increase the numbers of officers in West Mercia.
“I look forward to welcoming the additional officers, as this will have an even greater impact on making our communities safer.”
West Mercia Police is still looking for talented and committed people to join as new officers, particularly those from diverse backgrounds. For more information, visit www.westmercia.police.uk and click on Careers.