West Midlands Police chiefs in call for more officers after hitting recruitment target early

West Midlands Police has hit its recruitment target of 366 new officers four months ahead of schedule.

The new officers form part of a Government scheme to bring in an initial 1,200 extra constables, as part of a three-year programme to boost the number of bobbies on the beat.

In all the force expects to bring in a total of 2,800 new recruits by 2023. This includes officers who are not part of the national uplift programme, some of whom will replace people who have either left or retired.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson today urged ministers to increase the force's uplift programme by an extra 1,000 officers – meaning it would take on a total of 3,800 officers by 2023 – in order to make up for cuts over the last decade.

Last month 144 new recruits started with the force, putting officer numbers at more than 7,100. Recruitment and training was delayed earlier this year due to the Covid pandemic.

West Midlands PCC David Jamieson

Mr Jamieson said: "West Midlands Police has worked extremely hard and, despite the pandemic, we have hit the recruitment target set by the government four months early. This is a major achievement.

"We are working very hard to ensure officers get through their training process as quickly as possible, so that officers can be on the streets keeping people safe.

"These officers will make a real difference to the region and will play a major role in the fight against crime.

"I am pushing the Government to increase our recruitment target for next year and to come forward with our allocation for the next two years as soon as possible so we can get on and recruit much needed officers.

"Unfortunately we don’t expect to get back to the levels of officers in 2010, having lost 2,200 officers before the uplift. The current indication is we will only get half the numbers back, although I am pushing to increase that number."

Director of People, Nicola Price, said the force was in a "strong position" recruitment-wise, with more officers due to start early next year.

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