Up to 6,000 officers to be recruited in the first year backed by £750 million of government funding, following commitment to increase police over next 3 years.
A national campaign to recruit 20,000 new police officers has launched urging people to join the police and ‘Be a force for all’.
The recruitment of a first wave of up to 6,000 officers will be shared among the 43 forces in England and Wales. This includes £750 million for 2020 to 2021 and an immediate £45 million to kick-start recruitment.
The remaining 14,000 will be recruited in the following 2 years, backed by government funding, and will be additional to officers hired to fill existing vacancies.
The ‘Be a force for all’ campaign has been developed by the Home Office in partnership with the police and using feedback from the public via independent research.
Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said:
The recruitment campaign launch, and the government funding to deliver it, represents a significant opportunity for policing. This net increase in officers will help us provide a better service to the public, reduce crime, and ease the unprecedented pressure on our people. It will also help us to accelerate our plans to improve diversity in policing.
It also opens up the exciting opportunity for a career in policing to many more people. If you want a varied career and to make a positive difference in your community, policing could be for you. We want to attract people from a range of backgrounds with a range of skills who will complement the able, professional officers and staff currently working across policing to keep people safe.
Recruiting 20,000 officers over 3 years is unprecedented. It will require significant planning, but we are confident we can fulfil this commitment with the right resources and support from the government.
The campaign features serving police officers, including a neighbourhood officer, a police dog handler and a firearms officer. One of the officers started as a volunteer Special Constable, while another is a former charity executive who changed career.
They appear on billboards and digital displays at locations across England and Wales, including at shopping centres and railway stations, as well as in a radio advertisement.
A new website has also been set up to provide potential recruits with more information and direct them to the recruitment pages of local police forces.
A second phase of advertising is planned for the new year.
Katy Bourne OBE, Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said:
Police and crime commissioners welcome the recruitment campaign launch. These additional officers will help our police forces to cut crime and deliver better outcomes for victims. We know that this is what the public want.
This is a huge opportunity for policing to deliver on behalf of all our communities. We will work to ensure the successful recruitment of these officers over the next 3 years.
A National Policing Board, chaired by the Home Secretary and bringing together government and police leaders, has been set up to oversee the recruitment drive and other major policing issues.
The Home Secretary has previously announced the Home Office is accelerating plans for a Police Covenant to ensure serving and former officers are treated with the respect they deserve.
The Home Office also extended a pilot relaxing conditions around the use of section 60 serious violence stop and search powers.
Meanwhile, police funding is increasing by more than £1 billion this year, including money raised from council tax and to tackle serious violence.