The number of people joining the police force has risen by
77 per cent over the last year according to figures released today.
The new recruitment figures are the results of the £450
million crime fighting fund introduced by Jack Straw to boost police numbers in
England and Wales by 4,000 over three years.
Home secretary Jack Straw welcomed the rise in police
recruitment but conceded that police numbers had dropped during Labour’s first
three years in power which he blamed on the poor state of public finances when
the Tories left power.
Shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe criticised Labour’s
record in police recruitment.
She said, Having let the numbers of regulars fall and
numbers of specials fall throughout their term, they now suddenly turn round
one month before an election and say ‘oh look we’ve got record numbers.”