'Glacial rate of police recruitment means we'll never win war on crime'

·1-min read
Police officers on patrol in Sussex
Police officers on patrol in Sussex

NEWLY released government figures, published in The Argus, indicated that 257 police officers had been recruited in Sussex since 2019 and that the total number of police officers in the county was 3,006.

Henry Smith, the MP for Crawley, referred to "the 257 additional recruits" but was that, in fact, the case? Did that number take into account how many had left the force during the same period, for reasons such as retirement, resignation, health issues and so forth, or was it a genuine 257 extra officers that had been added to the number employed by Sussex Police three years ago?

One of the dictionary definitions of the word "additional" is "extra to what is already present" so, hopefully, the number of officers employed by the force has really gone up.

However, even if it has, it is worth bearing in mind that the number 3,006, while sounding quite impressive, is only 47 more than the force had ten years ago, a minuscule increase of about 1.5 per cent while during the same period, reported criminal offences in England and Wales have risen by something like 35 per cent.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, spoke in the article about the government's "Beating Crime Plan" but, if police recruitment continues at its present glacial rate, our constabulary's war against crime will never be won.

Eric Waters


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