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Council tax rise sees Kent Police numbers growing faster than any force in England and Wales

Contributed by editor on Jul 21, 2019 - 12:30 PM

Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott

 

Kent Police recruited an additional 291 police officers in the last financial year, figures published by the Office of National Statistics yesterday (July 18) have confirmed.


The annual police workforce data shows Kent had the full-time equivalent of 3,553 police officers at the end of March 2019 compared with 3,261 a year earlier.

The extra 291 police officers were brought in as part of Kent Police’s biggest recruitment drive for a generation and funded by money the Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott raised through council tax.

No other police force in the country increased police numbers by as many last year.

Mr Scott said: ‘Residents told me they wanted more police on our streets and so I took the difficult decision to raise council tax to enable the Chief Constable to recruit 200 more officers. I congratulate the Kent Police recruitment team on not only delivering on that number, but on making an early start on recruiting the further 180 police officers for this year.’

He continued: ‘Kent Police is on course to increase its police officer strength to 3,632 by next March. We will have 450 more police officers in spring 2020 than when I took office in spring 2016.’

Also published yesterday were the latest crime statistics.

Mr Scott added: ‘The Crime Survey for England and Wales has again found there has been no change in the overall levels of crime in the last year. Kent remains a safe place to live, work and visit - but our county is following national reported crime trends with more victims coming forward to seek help from the police, especially in relation to stalking and harassment, and domestic abuse. I have enhanced the support services available for these particularly vulnerable victims in Kent and Medway to ensure they receive whatever help they need.

‘However, more victims having the confidence to report crimes means an ever-growing demand on policing. I will look at the force’s financial position towards the end of this year, along with the results of my Annual Policing Survey, and discuss with the force what the recruitment plans for 2020/21 could look like.’

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