The Force recruited 25 new officers in the 12 months to March 2022, according to Home Office figures released yesterday.

The data shows the Force had 1,645 officers on 31 March this year compared with 1,620 on the same date the year before.

The 1.5 per cent increase is well below the national uplift figure of 4 per cent which saw an extra 4,927 officers join the service in that 12-month period, taking the total number of serving officers across England and Wales to 140,228.

The Home Office said the new figures revealed the second highest number of recruits in a year since records began, just behind the year ending March 2020 when there were 12,883 new officers.

The recruitment drive is part of the  Government’s Police Uplift Programme which aims to bring in 20,000 new officers by next March.

Cambridge Police Federation chair Liz Groom welcomed the increase but called for a greater focus on retention backed up with further action on pay and working conditions.

Liz said: “It’s great to see our new recruits already supporting their communities and the work of their colleagues and making a difference to policing in the county but while the increase in officer numbers is very welcome, it is not the end of the story.

“We need to ensure that while we continue to recruit, we’re getting the best people for the job, we’re maintaining standards, and we’re ensuring that we fill the gaps in knowledge and experience we’ve lost during austerity.”

And she warned that care needs to be taken to ensure the new officers stick with the job.

“Inflation, increasing interest rates and rising energy prices are hitting everyone hard,” she said, “For policing, this comes on top of years of real-terms pay cuts and the cost of living crisis is really starting to bite.

“If we’re going to attract the best candidates to policing and improve policing of our communities, then we need the Government to make sure officers are properly rewarded and recognised for the work they do.”