Plans for Northamptonshire police officers numbers to reach 1500

Police officers numbers in Northamptonshire could reach 1,500 by 2023 if the Government funding pledge comes through.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 1:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 1:52 pm
The precept was raised this year to help add another 83 officers to the numbers.
The precept was raised this year to help add another 83 officers to the numbers.

If the figure is realised it will be the highest ever number of officers on the beat in the county and will come after Boris Johnsons’s Conservative Government pledged to put an extra 20,000 police officers on the beat.

The Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) Stephen Mold’s office has assumed that 190 is the share that will be funded in Northamptonshire – which on top of the 1,310 the force is currently working towards, will take the number to 1,500 in three years’ time.

It is good news for the Northamptonshire force which earlier this spring was sitting at just 1,227 officers, a low from 2010 since a series of cuts to policing funding during the austerity programme.

Mr Mold increased the council tax levy by £24 per household last April. This was largely to increase the number of officers by 83, which is part of a bigger recruitment campaign to employ 200 new officers as numbers decrease through retirement and people quitting the force.

So far the Government has committed funding in 20/21 for more than 50 of the anticipated 190 officers, with no further funding as yet announced.

In a report to be discussed by the Northamptonshire, Police, Fire and Crime panel on January 6, Mr Mold says: “The announcement that Northamptonshire Police will be funded to recruit 57 additional officers by the end of 2020/21 in the first stage of the Government’s uplift of police numbers is very welcome. These 57 extra officers will be in addition to the 200 new officers that Northamptonshire Police is currently recruiting as a result of the local council tax increase.

“ People very clearly tell me that they want to see more police officers and they want them to focus very robustly on fighting crime. I welcome the Home Office decision to invest in policing and I thank the Prime Minister for delivering on the commitment he made to increase funding for policing when I met him with other Police and Crime Commissioners.”

Mr Mold is still however battling with the home office for more funding for the county as he says his force is received £8 less per head of population than other similar forces.

Since April a number of new police recruits have joined the Northamptonshire force with 80 new officers trained and from January to November.