Nick Vandyke, our local candidate for the London Assembly, has welcomed the announcement that London has been bolstered by an additional 1,369 police officers since the Government launched its major recruitment drive in September 2019.
Since the start of the recruitment campaign, a total of 4,336 extra officers have joined police forces across England and Wales as a direct result of the recruitment drive.
These statistics confirm that the Government remains on track to hit its manifesto commitment of 20,000 extra officers by 2023, and that forces have successfully accelerated their recruitment plans to meet their target of 6,000 more officers by March 2021.
In total since 31 March 2019, the police workforce has grown by 5 percent - the largest annual increase in officer numbers since 2003-04 - with forces becoming more diverse and representative of the communities they serve, as a result of the highest proportion of black, Asian and minority ethnic officers, as well as female officers, joining since records began.
The recruitment drive is at the centre of the Government's commitment to back the police with more resources, powers and support to keep the public and their communities safe.
Earlier this month, it was announced that police pay will rise by 2.5 percent this year, equivalent to a constable receiving an extra £1,100, and providing officers with an increase above inflation for the second year running, the largest pay rise in a decade.
The Government has also launched a targeted consultation for doubling the maximum sentence for assaults on emergency workers to two years, and has set out plans for a Police Covenant, focusing on physical protection, health and well being and support for families.
Other steps to support our frontline officers include the £1.1 billion funding boost for the policing system this year - the biggest increase in a decade, funding to provide over 8,000 more officers with Taser, and expanded stop and search powers so that officers can keep themselves and the public safe
Commenting, Nick Vandyke said:
"Getting more police officers onto our streets is one of the people's priorities, and so I am delighted that London has been bolstered with an extra 1,369 officers so far.
"Every one of these officers will make an enormous difference in helping to cut crime and keep people safe - and I am reassured that many more will follow as this Government continues to deliver on its promise to recruit 20,000 more over the next three years.
"By backing our police with the funding, powers 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."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
"When I became Prime Minister, I made a commitment to the police that they would always have my backing and we would recruit more officers, cut crime and make your streets safer.
"Just over one year on we are already delivering on our promise, with over 4,000 new officers already, meaning we're ahead of track on our plans to recruit 20,000 in the next three years.
"As we've seen from the frontline response to the coronavirus, the work of each and every police officer helps to save lives and I would like to extend my gratitude to them, and to the new recruits, for joining the service and being a part of this heroic effort."
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
"We are delivering on the people's priorities - putting more police officers on the streets to cut crime and keep us safe.
"Our brave police officers have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic, clearly inspiring many others to join them.
"My support for them remains unwavering - they deserve our utmost gratitude and respect."
Notes to editors
We are giving police forces the powers and resources they need by:
- Recruiting 20,000 new police officers to keep our streets safe. Recruitment is well underway with the launch of a new national campaign backed by £750 million to hire an initial 6,000 officers by March 2021, with 4,336 officers already in place. By 2023 we will have recruited the full 20,000 additional officers (Home Office, Police Officer Uplift Statistics, 30 July 2020, link).
- Putting a record number of officers onto our streets, to help cut crime and keep us safe. In total since 31 March 2019, the police workforce has grown by 5 percent - the largest annual increase in officer numbers since 2003-04 - with forces becoming more diverse and representative of the communities they serve, as a result of the highest proportion of black, Asian and minority ethnic officers, as well as female officers, joining since records began (Home Office, Police Workforce Statistics, 30 July 2020, link).
- Boosting police pay by 2.5 percent this year, ensuring policing remains an attractive career for everyone. Police pay will rise by 2.5 percent this year, equivalent to a constable receiving an extra £1,100, giving forces their largest increase since 2010. The number of people joining the police is at a ten year high, with over 78,000 applicants between October 2019 and May 2020 (Home Office, News Story, 21 July 2020, link).
- Doubling the maximum sentence for assaults on emergency workers to two years, ensuring those who seek to harm our officers feel the full force of the law. We have launched a consultation seeking views on increasing the maximum penalty from 12 months to two years in prison, delivering on our manifesto commitment to consult on tougher sentences (Ministry of Justice, Press Release, 13 July 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 Police Covenant will enshrine the rights of those serving in our forces, and will cover physical protection, health and wellbeing, and support for officers and their families, as well as public recognition for their bravery and work (Home Office, Open Consultation, 26 February 2020, link).
- Boosting police funding by up to £1.1 billion this year, the biggest increase in a decade. The funding increase includes £150 million to fight organised crime and online child abuse, £39 million to tackle serious violence including cracking down on county lines drug dealing, and a £90 million increase for counter-terrorism policing to help protect our streets (Home Office, News Story, 22 January 2020, link).
- Equipping over 8,000 more officers with Taser devices, so that the police have the resources they need to keep themselves safe. 41 forces in England and Wales will receive £6.7 million to purchase 8,155 devices. £150,000 has also been allocated to training for Tasers instructors (Home Office, News Story, 2 March 2020, link).
- Empowering police officers to use enhanced stop and search powers to help take knives off our streets. We are lifting emergency stop and search restrictions so that more than 8,000 police officers will be able to stop and search anyone in a designated area without needing reasonable grounds for suspicion if serious violence is anticipated (Home Office, News Story, 11 August 2019, link).