Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid this afternoon outlined a package of investment to include an extra £750m for policing in the next financial year to kick-start recruitment of 20,000 police officers across England and Wales. In addition the Government is to spend £45m this financial year to deliver an extra 2,000 officers by March.
“On coming into office, police officer numbers in Devon and Cornwall were planned to fall to 2,924. I reversed this and through budgetary planning and the support of our communities to pay more in their council tax we are already planning to increase numbers to 3,100 by 2020/21,” Alison said.
“These new officers are in addition to the 3,100 and are a very welcome move to protect our communities.”
Alison is seeking assurances that the uplift be provided by increased budget to territorial forces and not to national structures. She also argues that they should be distributed equitably across police forces – recognising the significant challenges faced by rural forces.
She has also welcomed additional funding for schools and the NHS which have the potential to reduce crime by creating more resilient communities.
“The good news for Devon and Cornwall Police is that we are already recruiting so have had expressions of interests from hundreds of people who want to become police officers - that puts us ahead of the game,” Alison said.
“My job now is to ensure that the force has enough resources and training centre capacity to meet the challenge of recruiting that number of new officers, and that then there are deployed in a way that is most likely to inspire confidence in the force and maintain our part of the country as one of the safest places in the country.
“Our office has spoken to thousands of people across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly this summer and I know from the results of those conversations and our summer survey that people want this investment to be felt on the frontline, not swallowed up by national agencies.
“Additional spending on the NHS and education is to be welcomed and will help us to create safer communities in the longer term.”
Alison and her team are applying for a Home Office Special Grant to take account of the huge number of summer visitors who come into Devon and Cornwall which the force receives no funding to deal with.
The bid is due to be handed to Home Office officials later this month.
Anyone wanting to have their say on policing priorities can take part in the OPCC’s summer survey online via the website devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk. This Saturday the team will be promoting the survey at the Kingsbridge Show and Totnes Pride. Results will be released in early October.
More details about current police officer numbers and the OPCC’s strategy can be found in the 2018-19 annual report. It is available online at devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk, via the OPCC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01392 225555 or at major libraries in the region.
Anyone interested in applying to become an officer or member of police staff should visit devon-cornwall.police.uk/your-right-to-information/our-people/recruitment