Wiltshire to get 49 more police officers

Wiltshire to get 49 more police officers

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 9:30am 9th October 2019. (Updated at 1:57pm 9th October 2019)

The breakdown of how many new recruits each force is set to get as part of a Government campaign has been revealed.

The increase works out as a 5% increase in the number of officers working in Wiltshire.

Every force in England and Wales has been given a target for recruiting new staff, with an overall total of 6,000 wanted in the first year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

"The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside. 

"This is the people's priority and it is exactly what the Government is delivering.

"Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year to help keep all of our communities safer."

Police officers in Salisbury - policeman - police woman - Wiltshire Police
It's hoped an extra 49 officers can be recruited for Wiltshire Police by April 2021

In Hampshire, there's a target to recruit an additional 156 officers for the county.

RECRUITMENT ALREADY OPEN

Wiltshire Police opened up applications for new police officers last month.

It's the first time in two years that there's been a recruitment for additional frontline staff.

The closing date for people to apply is this Sunday (October 13th).

A video's been produced by the force encouraging potential applicants to give it a go: 

John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said: 

"Investment in policing is long overdue and for the first time we now have the actual number of officers each local force will increase by in the next year. 

"These figures have been based on the current funding formula models and while this method is not perfect, I accept it is the only solution available to deliver the numbers quickly in year one. 

"We now need to ensure that the formula is revisited for future years to ensure a fairer allocation of officers across all forces, but this is certainly a positive start and will provide a much-needed boost to my members and the communities they serve."

LOCAL REACTION

Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has cautiously welcomed the announcement of new officers for the county.

In a statement, Angus Macpherson said: 

“I welcome today’s announcement from the Home Office. It is of course good news that we will see an increase of 49 officers in Wiltshire next year, but there is still uncertainty as to how this will be funded. 

“The Home Office has said that any funding will also include allowances for kit and training, and I am keen to see the specific finances behind this as soon as possible. 

“But let me be clear, this is not a quick fix to the challenges we currently face. It takes time to recruit suitable applicants to be officers and train them to a high standard. 

“This announcement is only part of the picture in Wiltshire, recruitment continues for the additional officers I promised as part of the council tax increase earlier this year and 20 probationers will join our community policing teams after completing their initial training later this week. 

“We also must not forget the role that police staff play in policing and I hope that the Home Office also consider how their numbers could also be increased.”

Salisbury's MP John Glen has tweeted about the additional Government funding for policing in the UK: 

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