Wales

Extra 300 police officers to be recruited by 2021

Police officers Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Front-line police numbers in Wales fell 7.4% between March 2010 and March 2019

Police recruitment targets announced by the Home Office will see another 302 officers employed in Wales by the end of March 2021.

It is part of an announcement of 6,000 new posts UK-wide, the first wave of a pledge to hire 20,000 new front-line officers over three years.

In 2010, 6,375 officers were employed across Wales.

Overall this fell 7.4% to 5,906 by March 2019, with Gwent seeing the biggest drop of 10.5%.

The number in Wales will rise back up to at least 6,208, not including extra officers being recruited through increased funding in 2019/2020.

National Chair of the Police Federation John Apter said investment in policing was "long overdue" and a "positive start".

He said: "These figures have been based on the current funding formula models and while this method is not perfect, I accept it is the only solution available to deliver the numbers quickly in year one."

The four Welsh forces welcomed the news, although North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones gave it a "guarded" reception.

"Any increase in police numbers is to be welcomed, especially if it is paid for via an increase in the central police grant thus reducing the burden on... local taxpayers," he said, adding the cost of 62 officers was a "fraction" of the £31m lost to the force since 2010.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent Jeff Cuthbert said the new posts would be on top of the planned recruitment of 60 officers in the current financial year.

He added: "However, the funding will only cover salaries and associated costs for the first few years, and we are still looking to the government to provide clarity on how these posts will be funded in the future."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites