Bedfordshire Police has exceeded police officer recruitment targets set by the PCC and the national uplift funding from the Home Office for 19/20, as the number of people applying to join the force almost doubles.
Latest figures show that the force’s recruitment drive has seen officer numbers rise to the highest levels in Bedfordshire in the last 10 years. The figures reflect the tremendous commitment from the force to populate the frontline and the number of people wanting to be part of making a difference to the county is welcomed. In the first three months of the year 350 people applied to join Bedfordshire Police as an officer, which is an increase of 91% compared to the same period in 2019.
In 2019/20 Bedfordshire Police had a target of recruiting an additional 78 officers, on top of their annual target of 100. The funding for the extra officers was allocated from council tax precept, by the PCC, and national uplift subsidy. Last week, national figures showed that the nationwide recruitment drive for officers is on track with over 3,000 new recruits coming through in the past seven months.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway said, “The proof of my commitment to recruiting more officers in this county is that, last year, I presided over more recruitment in a single year at Bedfordshire Police than for over a decade, even before the Government promised more officers to the service as a whole.
“Last year I promised to recruit 160 officers – 100 to replace leavers and 60 brand new posts. The Government gave us funding for 18 more as part of the first phase of the national uplift but we went further, with 82 more officers – up from 1,197 at March 2019 to 1,279 at the same point this year.
“For the next financial year, starting in April 2020, we will recruit 36 officers from the national uplift and I intend to add 20 more. The people of Bedfordshire can rest assured that if I can afford to put a single extra officer onto the front line, where necessary, I absolutely will do so.
The force is continuing its drive to recruit new officers and implementing new tactics to attract new applicants now that open days and workshops have currently been put on hold due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Detective Chief Superintendent Karena Thomas, head of people and workforce development, said: “It’s great news that we have exceeded our recruitment targets and have more officers working to help people in need and taking criminals off the streets of Bedfordshire. We have also seen a huge increase in applications so far this year, which puts us in good stead to reach our 20/21 targets.
“We are still processing applications both for the constable and detective pathways utilising technology to comply with the current government guidance by conducting interviews over the phone or through video chats. The College of Policing has created an online SEARCH assessment centre to ensure forces can still assess and employ officers and we hope to process successful applicants through as soon as possible.
“If you are interested in the role of a police officer, a detective or as a PCSO, please apply today or get in touch with our recruitment team who will be on hand to help you through each step of the way. Or join one of our Instagram Q&A events so we can talk you through all that a policing career has to offer.”
If you are interested in the police officer role visit www.bedfordshire.police.uk/careers to find out more and apply. You can also follow regular Q&As and latest recruitment information on the force’s social media channels.