BROMSGROVE MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid visited the town’s Police Station to meet the 25 new officers who will be serving the town.
Mr Javid’s visit coincided with an announcement that West Mercia Police would have 93 new police officers patrolling the force area by the end of 2020 to 2021.
The Chancellor also checked out the new patrol base in Bromsgrove – prior to the introduction of the new officers, response teams serving the district were based at Redditch and covered both towns.
Mr Javid, who was Home Secretary from April 2018 to July 2019, announced he wanted to increase the number of UK police officers by 20,000 as part of his bid to be Prime Minister – a policy adopted by Boris Johnson.
But the move follows a decade of police cuts which saw officer numbers drop by 21,500 across the UK between 2010 and 2018.
In West Mercia the number of police officers dropped from 2,391 to 1,901 last year – a decrease of 490.
The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) announced the force would be boosted by 115 police officers but that is still 375 short of the 2010 level.
Responding to the latest police recruitment drive, John Apter, the National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said: “Investment in policing is long overdue and for the first time we now have the actual number of officers each local force will increase by in the next year.
“These figures have been based on the current funding formula models and while this method is not perfect, it is the only solution available to deliver the numbers quickly in year one.
“We now need to ensure the formula is revisited for future years to ensure a fairer allocation of officers across all forces, but this is certainly a positive start and will provide a much-needed boost to my members and the communities they serve.”
In his spending review last month Mr Javid announced the Government would immediately provide £750million to increase policing numbers on the streets of England and Wales.
The funding would also ensure the officers were fully-trained and kitted out, ready to hit the streets by the end of 2020-21.
Mr Javid said cracking down on crime was both a local and national priority for him.
“I’m delighted that West Mercia is set to recruit nearly 100 more police officers in the first year of our recruitment drive.
“That means more dedicated local officers on the beat in our community – tackling crime, protecting the public and sending a clear message to criminals – that they should feel fear at the very thought of committing an offence.”
He added Bromsgrove Police Station and its hard-working officers were a credit to the force, adding the boost in numbers would help the force get even tougher on crime and give residents piece of mind.
“We have been clear from day one that this Government will give the police the resources they need – and I am determined to deliver on that commitment.”
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said visible policing continued to be his priority.
“The new cohort of officers, who will be based in Bromsgrove, will make a valuable impact in communities and more widely across Worcestershire.
“Following the investment I made to see more officers within West Mercia, we will soon be at the highest level of officers numbers since 2012.”