THE NUMBER of police officers in the West Midlands has increased by 628 as the Government strives to keep its promise to recruit an additional 20,000 by March 2023.
Since that vow, 8,771 have been enlisted across England and Wales – 45 per cent of the overall total promised with the halfway milestone said to be reached in the coming weeks.
The news has been welcomed by Jay Singh-Sohal, who is standing to be the region’s next Police and Crime Commissioner,
“Getting more police officers onto our streets is one of my top priorities, and so I am delighted that this Conservative Government has already delivered an extra 628 officers across the West Midlands.
“Every one of these officers will make an enormous difference in helping to cut crime and keep people safe – and I know that many more will follow as this Government continues to deliver on its promise to recruit 20,000 extra officers over three years.
“If elected as Police and Crime Commissioner next Thursday, I will work constructively with the Government to ensure that the West Midlands gets as many of those officers as possible – and I will cut out politics and waste to free up funding for even more.”
The addition of these new officers brings the total number of police across the West Midlands up to 7,319.
The pledge to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers was one of Boris Johnson’s key pledges during the Conservative Party leadership contest nearly two years ago.
The PM said the Government was on track to meet its target while Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was ‘delighted’ expectations had been exceeded.
The Conservatives had come under fire after 21,500 officers were cut from forces across the UK between 2010 and 2018 – among them were many with years of experience.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner election takes place on Thursday, May 6.
As well as Mr Singh-Sohal, Simon Foster will be looking to hold onto the seat for Labour as David Jamieson resigns from the role.
Other candidates include independent Julie Hamilton, Reform UK’s Mark Hoath, Liberal Democrat Jon Hunt and Desmond Jaddoo from the We Matter Party.