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Force facing 'resilience issues' launches recruitment drive

WMP hopes to recruit 800 new officers over the next three years
Published - 31/08/2016 By - Helena Hickey - Police Oracle

A police force said to be facing “significant resourcing deficiencies” has announced it will recruit 800 new officers over the next three years.

Earlier this month, West Midlands Police Federation warned existing resilience issues within the force were likely to worsen as it introduced its new 2020 model and urged the chief constable to postpone the plans.

The force says it has recently recruited a number of retired officers on short term contracts to “alleviate current short term pressures” but has now announced its first recruitment drive since 2014.

Over the next three years, the force is looking to recruit 800 new PCs, 200 specialist staff in a range of roles such as investigators and 150 PCSOs.

“These new police officers and PCSOs will help make our streets safer and tackle crime. This recruitment is at nearly double the rate of my previous term in office and is only happening because of the tough decisions that have been taken to make West Midlands Police more efficient,” said PCC David Jamieson.

“West Midlands Police has faced the biggest cuts of any force in the country and is receiving £2.5 million less from the government again this year. This recruitment of more than 1,000 officers and staff shows that we have the right priorities for the force.”

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson said it was “great news” to be able to bring fresh ideas into the workforce.

“Policing is challenging and rewarding. As a constable you’ll get to learn new skills, meet new people and you’ll never know what to expect − each day is different,” he said.

“The area we police is richly diverse, with around 30 per cent of local people coming from ethnic minority backgrounds. We want our force to reflect that and it is key that communities know that we have a strong commitment to equality and diversity.

“We have already made significant steps on recruitment. BME officers now make up nearly a third of our current recruits and we are hopeful that the next phase of recruitment builds on this so that West Midlands Police is representative of the many different cultures it serves.”

A number of other forces are also currently looking to take on new officers, including The Met and Northumbria Police which recently launched its biggest recruitment drive in a decade.

Chief Constable Steve Ashman said the force was looking for more than 600 recruits to join over the next three years to help deliver the best possible service to the North East.

“Deciding to become a police officer is a great career choice. It is a unique job which allows recruits the opportunity to serve our local communities and really make a difference to people’s lives,” he said.

“It is a career which provides fantastic options which means you can later specialise and choose to become a detective, work in motor patrols or become a firearms officer.”

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