200 new officers join Northumbria police since lockdown since start of lockdown
The latest influx has come despite lockdown restrictions imposed by the coronavirus outbreak, with a greater emphasis on digital and distance learning to get training started.
Bosses have also been targeting recruits from rural backgrounds in an attempt to address issues affecting some of the more isolated parts of the force area.
“We’ve had 218 new officers in uniform since March, which is fantastic and significantly above the national target,” said Kim McGuinness, the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
“It was a commitment to grow the force, we’re doing it quickly and it’s going well.
“There’s been a huge focus on equalising our force, looking to attract women, black and Asian officers.
“And also officers from rural backgrounds, which is an area we need to focus on.”
McGuinness was speaking at a meeting of the Northumbria Police and Crime Panel, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.
According to a report for the committee, 52 student officers were among the latest crop to begin their training with the force in July.
This also pointed to a crackdown on thefts, poaching and other wildlife crime, along with a promise to back other services focusing on other issues in rural areas, such as domestic abuse support and youth services.
Almost £10million has been set aside for the force’s recruitment programme, which bosses claim will ensure a ‘faster replacement’ of the 1,100 officers lost over the last decade.