Officer numbers up as recruitment push outpaces government targets

Image: West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police are continuing to swell the number of officers in their ranks as the force’s recruitment drive outpaces government targets.

A bumper intake of 144 new recruits last month saw them hit our national first year Uplift target, of 366 new officers, four months early.

But they're still urging anyone with a passion for policing and community service to join West Midlands Police.

Over the next three years they expect to welcome a total 2,800 new recruits – of which 1,200 will be additional new officers over and above regular recruitment to replace people who’ve left or retired.

October’s intake saw officer numbers increase to over 7,100 but work continues to make sure they see their overall officer headcount grow, as planned, by spring next year. 

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “West Midlands Police has worked extremely hard and, despite the pandemic, we have hit the recruitment target set by the government four months early. This is a major achievement.

“We are working very hard to ensure officers get through their training process as quickly as possible, so that officers can be on the streets keeping people safe.

“These officers will make a real difference to the region and will play a major role in the fight against crime.

“We are continuing to recruit and I want people from all of our communities to consider becoming a police officer. I continue to be committed to making West Midlands Police look more like the communities it serves.

“After hitting our target early this year I am pushing the government to increase our recruitment target for next year and to come forward with our allocation for the next two years as soon as possible so we can get on and recruit much needed officers.

“Unfortunately we don’t expect to get back to the levels of officers in 2010, having lost 2,200 officers before the uplift. The current indication is we will only get half the numbers back, although I am pushing to increase that number.”

Director of People, Nicola Price, added: “Our huge intakes in July and October, alongside our steady stream of student officer new starters in other months has meant we are in a comfortable position as we head towards the New Year.

“It’s a great achievement to have hit our Home Office target well before our March deadline, so our recruitment in January onwards will put us in a strong position as we continue to work on increasing our overall headcount, as well as widening our representation.”

Earlier this month, WMP closed their Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) as they are oversubscribed and are likely to have enough candidates to take them through the next few cohorts in 2021.

The regular Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) and Police Now recruitment continues, however, as they aim for another three intakes of students, totalling 126 officers, to start their WMP careers in January, followed by another 96 in both February and March.

The West Midlands Police attraction campaign is seeing more and more people visit their website and consider a police career. 

Last week, visitors to the PC recruitment pages increased by more than 40 per cent, with 10,500 reading through the information about their entry programmes, eligibility criteria and selection processes. 

Meanwhile, online advertising that appears as banners on popular news, sport, lifestyle and specific community websites and apps is live and has so far been seen by 451,000 people.

Advertising billboards featuring the recruitment campaign can also be seen on the M6 near to Bescot stadium and on the Soho Road in Handsworth.

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