Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, has welcomed the announcement that 269 police officers have been recruited in the Thames Valley since September 2019, bringing the total number of officers up to 4,519. The latest figures are part of the Government’s drive to get 20,000 more police officers on the street by 2023.
In total, an extra 9,814 police officers have been recruited across all 43 police forces in England and Wales, bringing the total number of police officers in England and Wales up to 138,574 – where they are already having an impact in tackling crime and keeping communities safe.
The recruitment drive is also helping to make police more representative of the communities they serve. More than 6,000 female officers have been recruited since April 2020, making up more than four in ten of all new recruits.
There are also more black, Asian and other ethnic minorities employed as officers across forces than at any other time in the country’s history, making up over one in ten of the new recruits.
The latest figures follow the launch of the Government’s Beating Crime Plan – aimed at reducing crime, protecting victims and making the country safer.
The plan includes ensuring each neighbourhood has named, contactable police officers, who know their area and are best placed to ensure that persistent crime and anti-social behaviour is tackled - a pledge made more possible by the increase in police numbers.
This builds on the action taken by the Government since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister two years ago – including boosting police funding to a record £15.8 billion, passing the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill through the House of Commons, and delivering £45 million through the Safer Streets Fund to make neighbourhoods secure.
Alok Sharma said:
“At the last General Election, I stood on a Manifesto that committed to putting 20,000 more police officers onto our streets – and these figures show how the Government is delivering on that promise.”
“The 269 extra police officers for the Thames Valley will help to cut crime, keep neighbourhoods secure, and reassure the law-abiding majority that they are safe. These officers – alongside the new Crime Beating Plan – shows how the Government is delivering on the people’s priorities here in Reading West.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am delighted we are already almost half-way there in delivering our commitment of 20,000 more police officers to fight crime by 2023. These figures aren’t just numbers. It means that thousands more police are out in communities protecting people, making our streets safer and supporting victims through some of the most difficult experiences of their lives.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“It is fantastic that we are well on track to meet our target of recruiting 20,000 extra police officers by 2023. These 9,814 officers are already making a difference in neighbourhoods up and down the country, bearing down on criminals and keeping people safe.
“This increase in police numbers and the Beating Crime Plan we launched yesterday show the Government’s determination to back the police, give them the powers they need to take away knives, shut down drug gangs and protect communities and vulnerable people from harm.”