BORIS JOHNSON has unveiled plans to recruit 20,000 new police officers at a cost of more than €1.2 billion which a professional body welcomed while warning of ‘logistical challenges’.
Britain’s new prime minister said the recruitment drive would begin ‘within weeks’. Recruitment will be overseen by a new national policing board and is expected to be completed during the next three years, according to government sources.
Johnson said people wanted to see more officers on the streets who could protect the public and cut crime.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the recruitment drive sent a ‘clear message’ the government would support the police and added it heralded the start of a new relationship between them.
The College of Policing welcomed the move but said there would be ‘logistical challenges’ because of a lack of training instructors.
The College’s Chief Executive Mike Cunningham told British media it was important to make sure new recruits were fit for the responsibilities they would have. He added it could be a ‘huge opportunity’.
“There are a wide variety of logistical challenges that come with the recruitment process,” Cunningham said.
The plans come as police officer numbers in England and Wales lost more than 20,000 officers from September 2009 to September 2017, according to government figures. Numbers declined under the Coalition and later Conservative government’s austerity drive.