Number 10 has confirmed that the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers will begin within weeks, re-affirming the commitment made by the Prime Minister as he entered Downing Street earlier on in the week.
The unprecedented drive to deliver more frontline officers will start in September with the launch of a national campaign, led by the Home Office.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“As I said on the steps of Downing Street this week, my job as Prime Minister is to make our streets safer.
“People want to see more officers in their neighbourhoods, protecting the public and cutting crime.
“I promised 20,000 extra officers and that recruitment will now start in earnest”.
The Prime Minister has said he wants recruitment completed over the next three years.
To support this, the Government has said that it will shortly set out plans for a new national policing board.
Chaired by the Home Secretary and bringing together crucial police leaders, it will hold the police to account for meeting this target and will drive the national response to ‘the most pressing issues that affect communities right across the country’.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“Officers up and down the country put themselves in danger every day to keep us safe; they deserve our support.
“The rise we’ve seen in serious violence is deeply worrying.
“An additional 20,000 officers sends a clear message that we are committed to giving police the resources they need to tackle the scourge of crime.
“This is the start of a new relationship between the Government and the police working even more closely together to protect the public.
“In addition – as part of ongoing work to tackle serious violence – the Government will urgently review the pilot which makes it simpler for officers to use stop and search powers, with a view to rolling this out across all forces.
“In April seven forces started a trial with relaxed conditions on the use of Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.
“The Prime Minister has been clear he fully supports the police’s use of stop and search to tackle and disrupt those carrying knives”.
The relationship between the police and the Government has been strained recently after Mrs May blatantly ignored the warnings given to her by the police regarding her plans to cut the budgets of police forces up-and-down the country.
Reducing the number of officers on the streets at a time when criminal activity is increasing, was a move that many within the police and law enforcement community said defied any notion of common sense.
Veteran officers with years of invaluable experience left the force in their droves leaving officers with only a few years of experience holding the extremely thin blue line.
There has been a feeling amongst many police officers that the May led government did not understand the value, role or value of the police.
Police Federation Chairman, John Apter, said:
“What a difference a new PM makes!
“I know this won’t be easy, but it’s a nice problem to have compared to what we’ve had to deal with in the past”.
Even though the May led government started to recruit more officers to fill the void caused by the cuts, the number of officers leaving the force due to the overstretched and under-resourced working conditions following the cuts made by Theresa May, has meant that the net intake of officers has been less than was hoped.
Lynne Owens, Director General of the National Crime Agency, said:
“The new resources are welcomed; the Board is important too ”driving a national response to the most pressing issue.”
“Serious & organised crime is a chronic & corrosive threat (most recent National Strategic Assessment) needing a national to local response”.