It is great that police ranks in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have been bolstered with an additional 43 officers since the government launched its major recruitment drive in September 2019. Across England and Wales more than 3,000 extra officers have joined the police since the recruitment campaign was launched, confirming the government is on track to recruit 20,000 extra officers over the next three years.
In total, forces recruited 6,435 officers from November 2019 to March 2020, including recruitment planned before the government campaign was announced – with 3,005 recruits joining the police specifically as part of the uplift programme.
There are now a total of 2,041 officers in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland , with 131,596 across England and Wales.
The recruitment drive is at the centre of the government’s commitment to back the police with more resources, powers and support to keep communities safe.
Other steps include the biggest funding boost for the policing system in a decade, a new covenant to recognise the service and sacrifice of the police, funding to provide over 8,000 more officers with Taser to keep themselves and the public safe, expanded stop and search powers, and plans to consult on increasing the maximum sentence for assaulting police officers and other emergency service workers.
Alongside new recruits, the government has also taken further action to support the police’s coronavirus response.
This includes testing for all essential workers, including police officers and support staff; the relaxation of tax rules to encourage officers nearing retirement and those recently retired to serve; and the unlocking of £84 million for forces to use in fight against coronavirus.
I am delighted that because of actions taken by the Conservative government, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland has been boosted by 43 more officers – meaning more police on our streets to cut crime and keep us all safe. At this time of national emergency, these additional officers have never been so important. They have my full support in enforcing the rules to ensure people stay at home, so we can protect the NHS and save lives.
By backing our police with the funding and resources they need, we will keep the public and our communities safe, so that people everywhere can live their lives free from the fear of crime.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has told me :
“Each one of these brave officers will make a difference in helping to cut crime and keep people safe. For many, their first role has been to join the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.
“Thanks to new digital assessment centres, the doors remain wide open for anyone who wants to join them and make a difference in their community.
“Getting more police officers on the streets is an absolute priority for the British people – and this Government.”
We are giving our police the resources and powers they need to keep us safe by:
- Boosting police forces with 3,000 more officers since we launched a major recruitment campaign in September 2019. 3,005 recruits have joined the police specifically as part of the uplift programme. In total, forces recruited 6,435 officers from November 2019 to March 2020, including recruitment planned before the government campaign was announced. Forces across England and Wales have successfully accelerated their recruitment plans and are on track to meet their target of 6,000 by March 2021 (Home Office, News Story, 30 April 2020, link).
- Providing £750 million to policing to enable police forces to recruit the first 6,000 of the 20,000 additional police officers by the end of March 2021. The bulk will be paid to Police and Crime Commissioners (£700 million). The remainder will be spent nationally on capabilities and infrastructure to support the recruitment drive. This includes investments to improve the recruitment process including training and specialist schemes to ensure the right officers end up in the right roles (Home Office, News Story, 22 January 2020, link).
- Giving our police the powers they need to ensure everyone stays at home, so we can protect the NHS and save lives. If members of the public are not staying at home – except under specific circumstances, the police now have the powers to instruct them to go home, leave an area or disperse. Officers can issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days, and a further fixed penalty notice of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence (Home Office, Press Release, 26 March 2020, link).
- Equipping over 8,000 more officers with Taser, so that the police have the sources they need to keep themselves and the public safe. 41 forces in England and Wales will receive £6.5 million to purchase 8,155 devices. £150,000 has also been allocated to training for Tasers instructors and around £3.3 million will go towards tackling serious violence and county lines (Home Office, News Story, 2 March 2020, link).
- Giving the police the biggest increase in funding for a decade, so that they have the resources and officers they need to keep us safe. The amount of funding available to the policing system for 2020-21 could increase by £1.1 billion to a total of £15.2 billion. The settlement will provide £150 million in funding to fight organised crime and continue to crack down on online child abuse. Tackling serious violence will be also backed with £39 million, which includes £20 million for county lines drug dealing which is seeing abhorrent gangs terrorising our towns (Home Office, News Story, 22 January 2020, link).
- Enshrining a Police Covenant into law, so that our officers know they have the support and protection they need to keep us safe. The Covenant will cover physical protection, health and wellbeing, and support for officers and their families, as well as public recognition for their bravery and work. It will be put on a statutory footing to ensure that Parliament can scrutinise progress made against the Covenant (Cabinet Office, Queen’s Speech, 19 December 2019, link).