West Midlands Police begins recruitment drive for 450 new officers

A recruitment drive for 450 West Midlands Police officers has begun, ending a five-year recruitment freeze.

The force, the second largest in England and Wales, has cut 2,000 posts since 2010.

The drive comes after the axing of the A19 scheme, under which officers with 30 years' experience had to retire.

A19 was introduced in a bid to save £126m by 2015 and led to 559 officers retiring but was scrapped in December after being branded unlawful.

Successful applicants for the new posts will have a starting salary of £21,999.

Tom Cuddeford, deputy chair of the West Midlands Police Federation, said: "It does not replace those officers who have gone... but we welcome the news those new individuals will become part of the police service."

The force said 1,000 people had expressed an interest in the roles within the first two hours of the jobs being advertised.

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