Blunkett raises target for police recruitment

The
police force is launching a massive recruitment drive to met a new target of
132,500 officers by 2004.

Home
Secretary David Blunkett announced the bid at the Labour Party conference
yesterday.

The
new target is 2,500 higher than one set earlier this year.

Blunkett
also said the community support officer scheme is to be extended, with 4,000
extra community support officers (CSOs) expected to be recruited.

Blunkett
said: "There are more police officers in this country than there have ever
been before – but we must never become complacent in our drive to boost high visibility
patrols and strengthen links with local communities.

"Police
forces across the country are as eager as I am for CSOs to get out there in our
local neighbourhoods and tackle nuisance crime and anti-social behaviour.

"Our
radical programme of police reform, from modernising pay and conditions to
strengthening the extended police family, is geared to making sure officers on
the ground and the communities they serve feel the positive effects of our
reforms."

By Quentin Reade

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