Police numbers and truth behind ‘extra’ officers – The Yorkshire Post says

IT IS significant, given the importance that Boris Johnson, and others, are attaching to language at present, that the Prime Minister welcomed the “extra” 9,000 police officers that have been recruited.

Boris Johnson and Priti Patel during a visit to North Yorkshire Police last summer. Photo: ©2020 CAG Photography Ltd.

After all, the 20,000 recruits that the Government wants to see in place by 2024 are not “new” officers; they are merely replacing the frontline roles axed by David Cameron and Theresa May in the name of austerity.

And while the Prime Minister – and Home Secretary Priti Patel – appear to be far more transparent over progress on this flagship policy than, for example, past and present investigations into their adherence of the Ministerial Code, it is also not just about numbers.

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As Ms Patel learned when she visited the region yesterday, it is important that all forces are more representative of the communities that they serve – whether it be North Yorkshire appointing a greater proportion of female recruits or initiatives in West Yorkshire to increase its BAME representation.

This was Boris Johnson and Priti Patel visiting North Yorkshire Police last year. Photo: ©2020 CAG Photography Ltd.

This is also an opportunity to restore community patrols and links with schools and youth groups – the need to prevent crime, and criminality, is one of the most important facets of policing if it succeeds in deterring the young people of today from becoming tomorrow’s career criminals.

Yet, while some areas are more proactive than others, a more significant police presence will also help to rebuild trust with the most important people of all – the law-abiding members of the public who truly welcome the ‘extra’ recruits and now look forward to working with them to keep their communities safe.

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