Ads boost police staff drive

Three television adverts featuring celebrities are being used to kick-start a national recruitment campaign for the police force.

The £7m Could you? Police campaign, devised by M&C Saatchi, will aim to raise the profile of policing as a career and to attract “high calibre” recruits to the force.

It will run for three years to help the service fill the extra 9,000 jobs promised by the Home Office in that period. Taking into account the numbers leaving, this is likely to result in a force about 4,000 stronger than it is today. There are currently 124,418 police officers in England and Wales.

The adverts, featuring ex-EastEnders star Patsy Palmer, former England footballer John Barnes and Falklands veteran Simon Weston, are being screened on national television and in cinemas. The campaign will also cover radio and newspapers.

Home Secretary Jack Straw said, “This campaign aims to provide forces with details of high-quality potential recruits. We are also keen to increase the number of female and minority ethnic police officers.”

Peter Mason, chief inspector of Lancashire Constabulary, which has been targeting ethnic minorities, said the national campaign will reinforce its work.

“Our campaign has been successful but there are only so many times you can dip into the same bucket. This will open things up.”

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