As Policing Minister, I am delighted to officially announce that our unprecedented officer recruitment campaign – the Police Uplift Programme – has met its target. We said we would recruit an extra 20,000 officers since 2019, and we have; in fact, we have recruited an extra 20,951 additional officers. That means that we now have a record number of officers—149,572—across England and Wales, 3,542 more than the previous peak.
This is the culmination of a colossal amount of work from police forces, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the College of Policing, the Home Office and beyond. I also want to express my gratitude to every single new recruit who has joined up and helped us reach our goal.
While it is right that we pause and reflect on the tremendous success of the Police Uplift Programme, this is not the end. It is about more than just hitting a number. It is the latest step in our mission to crush crime and make our country safer. The public want to see more officers on the beat, patrolling local neighbourhoods, and that is what they are seeing. The public want to see courageous and upstanding public servants in whom they can have pride and can trust, and we are working to deliver that, too. The public rightly expect police forces to use this increased strength and resources to the best available effect. They want to see criminals caught and locked up, so that they feel safe and secure, whether in their homes or out and about. They want police officers to focus on the issues that matter most to them.