STAFFORDSHIRE Police have recruited an additional 41 officers as a result of the national uplift programme which was announced last year.
This accelerates the force’s existing recruitment plans which had been bolstered by additional investment in council tax precept funding.
The Home Office has today revealed the number of officers recruited nationwide since targets were set, which will see the recruitment of 20,000 officers by 2023 across England and Wales. In Staffordshire, first year targets equate to an additional 30 officers in 19/20 and a further 60 in 20/21.
Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: “Since the uplift plans were announced by Government last year we’ve welcomed an extra 41 officers to the force as a result of the uplift funding. This accelerates our wider recruitment plans following the increase in council tax precept funding and to fill existing vacancies.
“It is very welcome that the government recognises the need to address police numbers and I am pleased to see these officers now in force, bolstering the service we provide to local communities.
“Last year we launched a regional partnership with Staffordshire University to support two new entry routes into policing; working as an officer and gaining a degree as part of the training or joining with existing degree level qualifications. "It’s important to recognise that during the coronavirus pandemic we have not halted recruitment but have made changes and adapted courses appropriately to adhere to current guidelines.
“Now more than ever it is important that we continue to increase our capacity and capability to tackle the increasingly complex world of crime and make a positive difference serving the public in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.”
Today has also seen the latest fixed penalty notice data released.
Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: “I want to thank the vast majority of people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent who have followed the government guidelines which are designed to stop the spread of Covid-19, and save lives.
“Since the restrictions came into effect, Staffordshire Police officers and staff have engaged with thousands of people across the county and, in most cases, people have been quick to understand and comply.
“However, there have been a number of occasions where we have had to issue fixed penalty notices to a small minority of people who, despite the best efforts of officers, have refused to follow the instructions.
“We are now five weeks into lockdown and people should understand these guidelines. We will not hesitate to use enforcement powers where we find people flouting the lockdown for no good reason, or ignoring the restrictions. This puts everyone at risk and undermines the efforts and sacrifices that everyone is making and I am confident we have the support of the public to use enforcement when necessary.
“I would urge people to ask themselves if the journey they are making or what they are doing is reasonable in the current situation. We all have a shared responsibility to protect the NHS, please apply your common sense and stay home.”
Further guidance and advice can be found here: https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/c19/coronavirus-covid-19/
You can report crime on our website www.staffordshire.police.uk/contactus. Always dial 999 in an emergency.