Northumbria Police’s recruitment efforts to get more uniformed officers out on the streets of the North East are working and Government targets are being smashed, says Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness.
Yesterday the Home Office provided a national update on police uplift figures for the country and PCC McGuinness confirmed that the force is on track to not only meet Government targets but aims to exceed this by recruiting up to 133 further officers by the end of the financial year.
In line with the National Police Uplift Programme, Northumbria Police had a target to recruit 185 police officers by the end of March 2021. When reviewing plans with the Chief Constable earlier this year the PCC decided to allocate extra funding to build force recruitment figures back up, believing the Government numbers didn’t go far enough and that a greater resource is needed to serve local communities. This will therefore result in a total of 318 additional officers by March 2021 (133+185). These numbers are in addition to planned force recruitment to address regular attrition.
The latest figures show that Northumbria Police currently has 3344 serving police officers working alongside the dedicated Police Staff, PCSOs and Specials who all play such an important role in protecting the public.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Police officer recruitment has been a top priority of mine and despite all the recent Covid-related challenges, our recruitment efforts over the last year have been really positive.
“I wanted to make sure we get more officers in post again and build the force back up after years and years of cuts to the service – our force took a real hit with austerity. Right now, I’m doing everything within my power to reverse this. The Force is growing well – we have some excellent new people who have joined us and as these new recruits complete their training, we can look forward to a greater visible presence of police officers out in our communities, making people feel safer.”
The PCC also described the force as having an ‘impressive’ number of female officers join over the last year with 48.9 per cent of new recruits being women. Nationally, women now constitute 32.7 per cent of the UK workforce, which is up from 32.6 per cent in July. For Northumbria Police it’s 34 per cent.
She said: “The number of female recruits is impressive. I can’t stress enough how important it is to me that our police force has a diverse mix of people to reflect the communities it serves. The greater the representation the better our force will be at understanding and responding to the needs of our communities, reduce crime and keep us all safe.
“Having so many women on board, many of whom also hold senior positions within our force, is just one example of how we are committed to making true representation a reality here in the North East.”
She added: “There really is some good progress happening, we just need it to go further, and faster. I know many people will want to have their say on where they want to see more police in their area, and now is the time to do so. I’d urge residents to visit my website or social media and complete my Fighting Crime, Preventing Crime survey. I want your input to help shape our force’s future.”