The Conservative Government has claimed to have delivered on its manifesto pledge to recruit an extra 20,000 police officer.
Publishing new figures that show 20,951 extra police officers have been recruited in England and Wales as part of the Conservative Government’s manifesto pledge, exceeding its target to put 20,000 more officers on the streets.
The landmark recruitment drive was part of the government’s commitment to drive down crime. The Party claims that progress is being made, with crime falling in England and Wales by 50 per cent since 2010, excluding fraud and computer misuse. Since March 2020 theft has reduced by 20per cent, homicides and knife crime by 8 per cent and domestic burglary by 30 per cent.
Conservatives also claim that police forces are now more representative of the diverse communities they serve, with over 53,000 female officers (35.5 per cent) and over 12,000 (8.3 per cent) from an ethnic minority background – both record highs. While they say there has been further progress, thanks to the Police Uplift Programme in increasing the number of ethnic minority officers in England and Wales since the start of this recruitment drive, with figures showing an impressive 43 per cent rise.
The Party said that the delivery of the 20,000 extra officers was a demonstration of the Conservatives delivering and represented the fulfilment of a key 2019 manifesto promise.
The announcement from the Conservative Party comes as part of a wider plan of action from the Government to tackle crime across the nation.
Officials at the Conservative Party, say that the Government’s Beating Crime Plan will deliver a safer Britain alongside record funding for our police, with a £17.2 billion policing budget for 2023–2024. This is alongside the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Act, which is giving the police and courts the powers they need to tackle serious crime head on. They go on to say that the Conservative Government is also delivering its Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, backed by £100 million in funding, making our streets and neighbourhoods safer for women and girls.
The Party also highlights the success of the County Lines Programme, which has seen police shut down more than 3,500 county lines since November 2019, making more than 10,000 arrests and referring more than 5,700 people for safeguarding.
They say that when “it comes to the safety of your streets and our neighbourhoods, only the Conservatives can be trusted to deliver”.
Commenting on the figures, Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak said:”When I stood at the steps of Downing Street six months ago, I made clear that I will do whatever it takes to build a better future for everyone in the UK, with stronger communities and safer streets.
“At the heart of that pledge is recruiting more police officers than at any time in our history, and today we have delivered on that promise.
“Thousands of officers are already out in our communities, tackling crime and keeping the public safe.”
While Home Secretary, Suella Braverman added: “This is an historic moment for our country. We have delivered on the promise we made to the British people which means more police on the beat preventing violence, solving burglaries and cracking down on antisocial behaviour.
“These new officers are changing the face of policing. They are more representative of the communities they serve and this offers a unique chance to deliver the highest standards and common sense policing expected by the public.”
And Crime and Policing Minister, Chris Philp concluded:”Not only are we putting more police officers on the streets, we are making sure they have the tools they need to fight crime – and holding them to account to deliver.
Overall crime, excluding fraud and computer misuse, has halved since 2010 and I thank all the police officers who have contributed to this effort, and welcome those who are going to drive this down even further.”