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Police welcome Prime Minister Johnson’s pledge of 20,000 new officers

But the Police Federation of England and Wales warned it will take many years and a “significant amount of funding” to achieve it.

Boris Johnson used his speech outside Number 10 to pledge an immediate start to recruiting 20,000 extra police officers (PA)
Boris Johnson used his speech outside Number 10 to pledge an immediate start to recruiting 20,000 extra police officers (PA)

The main police union has welcomed Boris Johnson’s pledge to start recruiting 20,000 extra officers “forthwith”.

But the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank and file officers, warned it will take many years and a “significant amount of funding”.

The federation’s national chairman John Apter welcomed the promise but stressed it was not going to be a “quick fix”.

I hope the federation can build a positive relationship with Mr Johnson and his cabinet to slowly begin to undo years of damage inflicted on the police service John Apter, Police Federation

He said: “I will hold him to his promise.

“However, this is certainly not a quick fix and will not only take many years to achieve but also a significant amount of funding.

“While police officer numbers matter, policing and those who deliver it need much more from Government.

“They need genuine support and respect, something which has been lacking from the outgoing prime minister. This must change.

“Moving forward, I hope the federation can build a positive relationship with Mr Johnson and his cabinet to slowly begin to undo years of damage inflicted on the police service.

“Our members and the public deserve better.”

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Boris Johnson made the police recruitment pledge in his first speech as PM (PA)

An extra 20,000 police officers would return the number in England and Wales to just shy of the 2010 level and would cost in the region of £1 billion, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said.

But the economic research institute stressed the figure was only an estimate as it did not have specific data for recruitment and training costs and other variables.

Mr Johnson’s pledge echoes that of one of his rivals in the Tory leadership race Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who promised to recruit 20,000 more police officers if he became Prime Minister.

Mr Javid – who was appointed Chancellor on Wednesday evening – said he would spend £1 billion over three years to put “police on the beat” and end a “culture of impunity” among criminals.

A string of fatal teen stabbings sparked a heated debate earlier this year about police numbers in England and Wales, which have dropped by more than 20,000 since 2009.

Former prime minister Theresa May came under fire after she said there “was no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers”.

The cut in numbers coincided with her time as home secretary.

PA

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