Number of Thames Valley Police officers decreased despite recruitment campaign

A parliamentary spokesman has accused the government of letting down people in Aylesbury

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 4:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 4:10 pm

Recent Home Office data suggests the number of police officers in the Thames Valley decreased in 2021.

This comes despite a recruitment drive organised by the government launched in September 2019, which claimed 609 more officers were needed.

Analysis from Aylesbury Liberal Democrats suggests that 25 new recruits are needed each month between now and March 2023 for the 609 officer target to be reached on schedule.

49.8% of our new recruits have been female

Home Office findings show that 229 additional police officers have been hired since the campaign began.

Steven Lambert, Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman for Aylesbury, said: “People in Aylesbury are being let down and taken for granted by this Conservative

Government.

With so many local crimes going unsolved, we desperately need more police on our streets and in our communities.

“Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people.”

“The Conservatives’ pledge to boost police officer numbers looks set to become yet another of their broken promises. They are letting down victims of crime and our communities right across our area.”

Thames Valley Police decision-makers remain content with the national campaign.

A spokesman advised that thousands of people are being interviewed and considered for the hundreds of current vacancies in the area.

One of the successes the police force wanted to highlight was improved diversity when it comes to new hires.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “The National Police Uplift Programme presents a fantastic opportunity to increase the number of police officers across the Thames Valley.

"It will see us recruit an additional 598 officers by March 2023 who will significantly enhance our ability to prevent harm, investigate crime, support victims, bring offenders to justice and make our communities safer.

“Thames Valley Police continues to attract a high number of applicants looking to serve their communities as Police Officers and to date (figures as at 31 December 2021) we have recruited 229 officers towards our uplift target, achieving higher levels of diversity than at any previous time; with 14.2% of all new officers in the past twelve months coming from ethnically diverse backgrounds and in the same period 49.8% of our new recruits have been female.

“As we emerge from the pandemic the recruitment market nationally is buoyant and therefore challenging from a recruiters perspective.

"We are working hard to attract sufficient recruits to meet our 2021/22 targets and currently have over 1,650 applicants at various stages of the recruitment process.

"However we need to carefully forecast and monitor turnover as well as recruitment success in order to maintain our progress towards achieving this target.

“We are confident that we have robust plans in place to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by the Police Uplift Programme.”