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Plan approved for 180 more police officers across Kent

Contributed by editor on Feb 10, 2019 - 02:25 PM

 

Kent Police is to look to recruit an additional 180 police officers in 2019/20, using funds raised by the Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott.




It means the establishment of full-time officers in Kent will increase to 3,632, returning the force to 96% of its peak strength from a decade ago.

On Wednesday February 6, Mr Scott’s budget plans were unanimously approved by the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel.

As well as increasing officer numbers, Kent Police’s 300 Police Community Support Officers have also again been protected.



Mr Scott told panel members at the meeting in Maidstone: ‘Residents want to see more police out on the street and to pay for that I’m increasing the council tax by £2 a month for an average Band D property. This has been supported by 60% of people across more than 5,000 pieces of consultation feedback.’

Adding that it was not a decision taken lightly, the PCC said: ‘These plans are not just about asking for more money. I’ve asked Kent Police to continue their drive to be as efficient and effective as possible without putting frontline services at risk. They will make £9.7million of savings over the next year.

‘This, combined with the use of reserves to continue the improvements we’ve seen in performance within the Force Control Room, will enable the Chief Constable to look to recruit another 180 fully-warranted Police Constables next year. That is in addition to replacing those who leave or retire, and enables us to retain the 270 additional officers recruited since I was elected in 2016.’

Mr Scott stressed it would be down to the Chief Constable to determine exactly how and where these additional officers will be deployed, but said 90 would go into local policing roles and 90 into crime investigation teams to tackle issues like domestic abuse and sexual violence.


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