The number of police recruits who entered residential training last year
rose by 77 per cent, according to latest figures.
National Police Training and the Metropolitan Police Service figures show
there were 7,009 recruits in 2000-1 compared with 3,963 the previous year.
Nearly 40 per cent of the recruits entering police training colleges in
2000-1 have been paid for out of the Government’s Crime Fighting Fund
initiative which was set up to reverse falling police numbers.
All but one of the 43 forces in England and Wales have seen an overall
increase in the numbers sent for training, ranging from a 30 per cent rise in
the London region to a 168 per cent increase in Yorkshire and Humber.
By March 31 this year nearly 2,800 new officers had been recruited over and
above the number police forces had planned to recruit during 2000-1.
Colin Taylor, chief inspector for personnel at North Yorkshire Police, said
the funding and the national advertising campaign had helped his force boost
the number of recruits to 70 last year from nine in 1999. He expects to appoint
170 more this year.
He said, "This is the result of additional funding from the crime
fighting fund and the county council. It means we can improve our service and
allocate officers to tasks we have not been able to do until now."
Home Secretary Jack Straw, visiting the Metropolitan Police training centre
at Hendon, said substantial investment and the first national advertising
campaign had delivered results.
He said, "Forces are to be congratulated on their efforts to recruit
more officers. In just the first year of the operation the three-year crime
fighting fund is already having a significant impact on overall police numbers.
On the basis of forces’ projections police numbers should reach record numbers
by March 2003."
By Ben Willmott