Police numbers in Devon and Cornwall to increase under programme to boost number of officers on the street

PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 October 2019

Archant

Devon and Cornwall Police will get more officers than any other force in the South West under a national programme to increase police numbers.

The National Policing Board yesterday (Tuesday, October 8) announced what year one of the Government's officer uplift plan would look like for each of the 43 forces in England and Wales.

In total the officer uplift will amount to 20,000 officers over three years.

Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly said the national uplift will allow her force to recruit an additional 141 officers over 18 months.

She said: "I am delighted with this announcement," she said.

"This is great news for our communities and for anyone wanting to start a career as a police officer.

"We are in a better position than other forces in that we were already recruiting before the Government announced this uplift, so have newly trained officers and have lined up plenty of potential recruits."

Avon and Somerset will receive 137 officers, Dorset will get 50, Gloucestershire will get 46 and Wiltshire will get 49.

In Devon and Cornwall the 141 officers recruited in year one of the scheme will be in addition to the 126 extra officers that has been funded since Mrs Hernandez became the Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016.

The national contribution for year one of the scheme is in line with expectations, she said, and indicates that decisions on allocation have been taken in line with the current grant funding formula.

Mrs Hernandez said she would continue to campaign for a central government funding mechanism that recognised the challenges faced by Devon and Cornwall Police.

"The challenges faced by Devon and Cornwall are significant, as we have explained in our bid for additional funding via the Home Office Special Grant system," she said.

"We have invested £17.9m over the past three years in innovative approaches to offset exceptional pressures. I was delighted to have the opportunity to discuss these challenges with Policing Minister Kit Malthouse a fortnight ago and will keep up the pressure with a trip to Westminster later this month.

"I'd like to use this opportunity to remind people that there is no upper age limit to becoming a police officer.

"We need people from a range of backgrounds and with a range of experiences to help us work together to achieve safer, resilient and connected communities and to maintain one of the safest police force areas in the country."

Anyone interested in becoming a police officer or member of staff with Devon and Cornwall Police should visit devon-cornwall.police.uk/recruitment.

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