Warwickshire Police have been praised for their contribution to the national Police Uplift Programme by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.
Following the announcement yesterday that the Government has met its target of recruiting 20,000 new police officers, Mr Seccombe said that Warwickshire’s contribution to the total had been significant, despite being among the smallest forces overall in the country.
Warwickshire Police’s officer headcount has grown by over 300 since 2016 when Mr Seccombe first took office, with around half of these being funded through the Police Uplift Programme. The remainder were funded by local taxpayers through the Police Precept, forming part of the Commissioner’s pledge to boost visible policing.
It means the county’s police force now has more than 1,100 police officers, which represents its highest total across a more than 160-year history. It moves the headcount ahead of that seen at the beginning of austerity in 2010, when the force had 973 officers and above the previous high of 1,051 in March 2007.
Mr Seccombe said: “I’m absolutely delighted that in Warwickshire we have been able to achieve our own ambitious target of growing the force to over 1,100 officers and, in doing so, have made a significant contribution to achieving the Government’s national pledge.
“The funding from the Government together with the monies raised through Police Precept increases in recent years have enabled a massive 36% jump in police officer numbers here in Warwickshire. That must be among the largest in the country and is a testament to the hard work put in by the force’s recruitment team over the last few years.
“It’s great news for local communities as it means that there are now more officers for the Chief Constable to deploy, enabling the new operational policing model which is being rolled out across the county from this week. It supports the establishment of new specialist teams, as well as allowing the force the flexibility to make changes in how it investigates crime, operating more effectively and delivering an improved response to the public.
“I am confident that as more and more of the newly recruited officers complete their training and go onto permanent active duty, we will also continue to see improvements in police visibility, including across our Safer Neighbourhood Teams, which continue to be highly valued by the public.
“Moving forward, we will have a renewed drive to maintain and wherever possible further increase these numbers, as well as recruiting PCSOs, police staff and Special Constables. I want to continue to see Warwickshire Police grow and improve to deliver on my pledge to reduce crime, support victims and make communities safer.”