An additional 21,139 police officers have been recruited between April 2020 and 31 March 2023, 20,951 of which were recruited from funding for the Police Uplift Programme, according to the College of Policing.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh, College of Policing CEO, said: “It’s inspiring that 20,000 new colleagues have chosen to enter policing and the work they will do to keep communities safe and catch criminals is much needed by colleagues and communities alike.”
He added: “Those within policing who worked on Uplift should be extraordinarily proud of their role in recruiting so many new officers in the timeframe, and this will undoubtedly help keep the public safe.”
The Police Federation, on the other hand, commented that the Police Uplift Programme recruiting 20,00 officers only backfills the cut of more than 21,000 full time equivalent (FTE) officers in 2010.
In a statement, Steve Hartshorn, National Chair of the Police Federation, said that “the Government’s claim of the recruitment drive resulting in a stronger, healthily staffed service is misleading and misplaced.”
“The smokescreen doesn’t stand up to scrutiny”
He explained that the Government has effectively “backfilled the more than 21,000 full time equivalent (FTE) officers cut by the Government in 2010.”
“It must not be overlooked that officers have been trying to cover the workloads associated to those losses and the additional 23,000 police staff roles that were cut at that time,” Hartshorn said. “The effect of these cuts has been felt and seen by the public and our officers have been suffering the consequences.
“Due to rising attrition rates, we would need closer to 50,000 new officers to cover these losses.”
Hartshorn pointed out that the population growth of more than 4 million since 2010 should also be considered, so “even with an uplift of 20,000 officers, we will have less officers on the streets than we had a decade ago.”
“Half of all police forces now have fewer officers than they had in 2010 and voluntary resignations have almost doubled,” he added.
“For clarity, the Government should release the number of FTE officers in the service between 2010 to 2023, instead of the net headcount numbers, to avoid misleading the public.”
Hartshorn said: “The smokescreen doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. It is time policing and the safety of the public are prioritised by this Government in a meaningful way and a Royal Commission on policing is appointed to ensure the service has the ability to fulfil their remit and serve and protect the public.”
(Source: College of Policing, Police Federation)