Public sector recruitment drive successfully “delivering” more police officers, PM says
Prime minister Boris Johnson has said that his government’s initiatives are successfully “delivering” more police officers, after a recent recruitment drive has yielded the greatest annual increase in officers since 2003-04.
4,336 more police officers have been recruited in England and Wales in 2020, with the government targeting 6,000 by next March and 20,000 by March 2023.
However, the Labour Party has played down the idea that the recruitment drive will reverse the effects of austerity under previous Conservative governments, as figures highlighted 20,000 police officers being lost between 2010 and 2019.
Johnson said: "Just over one year on [from becoming prime minister] 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."
The government has already announced that public sector workers will benefit from pay rises of up to 3.1 per cent after previous Conservative ministries had frozen public sector pay for seven years.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said: "It feels pretty rich for the prime minister to talk of valuing the public sector when the Covid-19 crisis has shown just how starkly his government has let down our NHS and social care workers."
In its plans going forward, the government is looking to recruit a further 1,000 probation officers before the end of 2020, with 800 already in training. The move comes as the supervision of offenders on probation in England and Wales is being transferred back into public hands after having been privatised.
Figures in Scotland also show that 180 more officers were employed in March 2020 than at the same time in 2019. The number of officers in Scotland’s police force has increased by 7.4 per cent [1,197] in the last 13 years.
UCAS has reported that the number of applications to become trainee teachers in England increased by 32 per cent between February and July compared with the same period in 2019.