If you’ve been following the news recently, you might be aware that Britain has a new prime minister. Well, Boris has moved quickly to implement changes – and these particular changes are certainly for the better. In the next month, an enormous recruitment drive will be launched – with the aim of recruiting up to 20,000 new police officers in England and Wales. In this blog, we’ll give you all the information we can about the new recruitment drive, and how you can benefit from this!
Why The Sudden Boost in Police Recruitment?
The UK government has been heavily criticised as of late, for a perceived failure to provide UK police constabularies with the resources that they need. This was compounded by the former prime minister’s statement that the lack of resources available to UK police was not to blame for the rise in knife crime. Officers frustrated at their inability to make a difference have been leaving the force for other careers. Between March 2010 and March 2019, over 20,000 officers left the UK police. Naturally, this has had a sustained negative impact on the UK’s ability to fight crime, and police constabularies have suffered as a result. Now, the government wants to make a change.
When quizzed about the changes, Boris Johnson stated that the aim is for the recruitment drive to be completed over the next three years – and that he wants to the public to feel safer – which can only be made possible by the presence of more officers in local neighbourhoods.
The College of Policing
The College of Policing have welcomed the new recruitment drive, but have also advised caution that this is a ‘fix all’ approach. As they’ve advised, there are complications surrounding such a massive recruitment drive, and the addition of 20,000 potential new officers will bring enormous logistical challenges. Amongst other things, the College of Policing are concerned that they do not have enough instructors to provide training to all of these new recruits.
The chief executive of the College of Policing drew attention to the enormous cost that the assessment process, campaigns, training, and vetting will incur, and encouraged the prime minister to consider whether these plans are perhaps slightly too optimistic. He also drew attention to a rather surprising facet, that most people won’t have considered – the number of lockers available. With police officers carrying so much equipment these days, all of this equipment needs to be stored during the night. Therefore, with a wave of potentially 20,000 new recruits coming in, it’s fair to say that finding the space might be challenging.
Of course, there are also concerns over whether it’s actually possible to reach the new target of 20,000 police recruits. Because the rules around becoming a police officer will be stricter for this drive, with candidates required to already have a degree (or be prepared to study for one on the job), the competition will be much fiercer.
Unprecedented Police Recruitment
The new recruitment board will be led by the Home Office and the current leaders of the UK Police. If it takes shape, then it is set to be the largest police recruitment drive in over 50 years. The last sustained recruitment surge was between 2000 and 2005, when the number of police officers in the UK rose from 124,100 to 141,200. Following this, the number has dropped substantially.
The new home secretary stated that adding the additional officers shows, in no uncertain terms, the level of the government’s commitment to the UK police force. She welcomed the start of “a new relationship between the government and the police”.
The new changes from the government can only be seen as a positive thing. Even if the recruitment drive is optimistic, and the number of 20,000 is not reachable, it clearly shows that the UK government are putting a major emphasis on providing the UK police with the resources and manpower that they need in order to combat crime – and make Britain a safer place to live. The question now, is how many recruits the drive will bring in. If done right, this could be just the change that the UK police needs in order to improve its level and start making a huge difference.
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