POLICING Minister Kit Malthouse visited Staffordshire Police yesterday (Sept 24) to meet with new recruits who have joined the Force as part of the government’s police uplift programme.
He met with recruits who have recently joined the force, as he discussed policing demands with Chief Constable Gareth Morgan.
During this financial year the force will recruit over 200 new officers, with 90 of those directly as a result of the uplift programme.
Of this number, thirty six recruits have joined via the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) programme this week (21 September). New recruits will learn on the job as an apprentice.
Students will split their time between practical learning and study as they work towards a degree in professional policing practice which will develop the next generation of police officers.
Mr Malthouse said: “It was brilliant to meet such an energetic group of new recruits. They will help us to build a police force which reflects Staffordshire’s communities. It’s great to have more capacity and to have so many new recruits who are full of enthusiasm.”
“The key promise we made was to deliver 20,000 new police officers and we are ahead of schedule on recruitment.
Chief Constable Morgan said: “There are now a number of different entry routes which means we can attract people from a range of different backgrounds to join us in policing.
“Our recruits are proud to work here. They are on their first step and have a long way to go, but they are full of pride and enthusiasm and it’s a pleasure to meet them and hear about their different backgrounds.”
He added that Staffordshire Police now had a much better gender balance, but was working hard to encourage more diversity through positive action and working alongside local communities.
Mr Malthouse also learnt about the operations currently running across Staffordshire Police.
Operation Lightning was set up to tackle criminals using the road network and to prevent increases in the number of people killed and seriously injured on roads. Since its launch on 1 September officers have made almost 200 arrests and have used an aeroplane and helicopter to crack down on dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour from motorcyclists.
The Force is currently running Operation Disrupt to target criminality, with searches and warrants taking place across the county this week. There is also a continuing focus on County Lines drugs activity.