Well, we may be able to look forward to spotting a few more bobbies on the Bath beat in the not too distant future.
That’s after news that the Avon and Somerset Police Force is being allowed to recruit an extra 137 officers for the first year of a three-year Government-funded £750-million campaign to increase ranks – nationally – by an extra 20,000.
Here’s the figures for the South West.
Police forces in the region will be able to recruit a total of 423 new officers. Their first-year recruitment as follows:
- Avon and Somerset Constabulary will be able to recruit 137 new officers, which will increase their officer numbers by 5%
- Devon & Cornwall Police will be able to recruit 141 new officers, which will increase their officer numbers by 5%
- Dorset police will be able to recruit 50 new officers, which will increase their officer numbers by 4%
- Gloucestershire Constabulary will be able to recruit 46 new officers, which will increase their officer numbers by 4%
- Wiltshire Police will be able to recruit 49 new officers, which will increase their officer numbers by 5%
Mark Shelford, the Conservative candidate to be Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner in the May 2020 elections, said: “I am delighted with the announcement that Avon and Somerset is due to get another 137 extra officers as part of the 6,000 target in year one and I am encouraging the Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, to go further and recruit over and above this announcement.
“We need officers spread throughout the constabulary to tackle rural crime as well as that centred on major metropolitan areas.
“The public want the police to start properly gripping knife crime associated with county lines, anti-social behaviour, speeding and dangerous driving.
“This will definitely improve the situation but more is to be done and today I am calling on the present PCC, Sue Mountstevens, to be clear with the residents of Avon and Somerset on what her plans are for these extra officers and how they will address residents’ priorities, particularly in rural communities.”
Annabel Tall, the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Bath, said: “We are fortunate in Bath to have very low rates of crime – we live in a very safe place.
“However, Bath residents are concerned that they do not see local police on the street as much as they used to, so I am delighted that we will be seeing an additional 137 police officers in the Avon and Somerset area recruited in 2020/21 and an additional 20,000 officers keeping us safe nationally over the next three years.”