Burnham-On-Sea’s MP has this week welcomed the news that 137 extra Police officers look set to be recruited across the Avon and Somerset force area following a multi-million pound injection of government funding.
The government is providing £750million to support forces across the UK recruit up to 6,000 extra officers by the end of 2020/21.
The Home Office confirmed the officer recruitment targets for police forces for the first year in a bid to increase their ranks by 20,000 over the next three years.
The recruitment target for Avon and Somerset is 137 extra police officers in the first year.
Burnham-On-Sea MP James Heappey said it’s “great news” for the Wells constituency and part of a wider plan to invest in public services and unite the country.
He said: “I am delighted Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been allocated these crucial extra officers. It is clear this is the right thing to do in order to keep our streets safe and give the force the support they need.”
“It is important we invest in policing, schools, infrastructure and such like and I am pleased to see a real commitment by the Government to ensure this happens. I know my constituency will benefit immensely from these extra officers.”
“Our police do amazing work and it is important they are given the resources to continue that.”
Police forces in the South West will be able to recruit a total of 423 new officers.
All officers recruited as part of the 20,000 uplift will be additional to those hired to fill existing vacancies. They are also on top of the extra officers already being recruited because of a £1 billion increase in police funding for 2019-20, which includes money from council tax and for serious violence.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside. This is the people’s priority and it is exactly what the Government is delivering. This means there will be more than 400 more officers across the South West, helping to reassure communities and keep them safe.”
Mark Shelford, the Conservative candidate for Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner in next year’s elections, said this week: “I am delighted with the announcement that Avon and Somerset is due to get another 137 extra officers as part of the 6,000 target in year one and I am encouraging the Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, to go further and recruit over and above this announcement.”
“We need officers spread throughout the constabulary to tackle rural crime as well as that centred on major metropolitan areas. The public want the police to start properly gripping knife crime associated with county lines, anti-social behaviour, speeding and dangerous driving.”
“This will definitely improve the situation but more is to be done and today I am calling on the present PCC, Sue Mountstevens, to be clear with the residents of Avon and Somerset on what her plans are for these extra officers and how they will address residents’ priorities, particularly in rural communities.”