Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom says the 49 new officers taken on by the Force are a good start to the Government’s recruitment drive.
New Home Office figures show that the number of officers in Cambridgeshire has risen from 1,526 to 1,575 since the Government launched its uplift programme in September.
The Force has a target of recruiting 62 new officers in Year 1 of the programme, with 6,000 being taken on nationally.
And Liz says the new officers are a welcome addition to the Force as it adapts to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s encouraging to see we’ve recruited 49 new officers to the Force, and we welcome them all,” said Liz, “It’s a good start to reaching our target of 62 new recruits this year, and the key is to ensure that, after years of cuts to policing, we retain them too.
“The uplift will help us deliver the services that our communities need at a time of unprecedented challenges because of coronavirus.”
The Government has pledged to recruit 20,000 extra officers in England and Wales by 31 March 2023.
The new Home Office figures show that 3,005 officers have been recruited across England and Wales since the programme launched in September.
In total, forces recruited 6,435 officers from November 2019 to March 2020, including recruitment planned before the Government campaign was announced.
There is now a total of 131,596 officers, a five per cent increase on March 2019.
National Federation chair John Apter said: “This is good news for policing and provides a lifeline we have desperately needed for many years. Whilst this does not undo the damage done by a decade of cuts to policing, it is definitely a step in the right direction to rebuild what we had before austerity measures hit hard.”
He added: “While the support from the Home Secretary and policing minister to initiate the uplift programme is very welcome, we need reassurance that the Government will fund Years 2 and 3 of this programme and see this through to the end.
“I completely accept that as a result of the current crisis the Government has financial pressures but policing must be a priority and a genuine increase of 20,000 officers is essential so my colleagues can keep the public safe.”