Published: 00:01, 09 October 2019
| Updated: 08:00, 09 October 2019
Kent Police will be expected to recruit nearly 150 officers under targets set out by the Home Office, the government is expected to announce today.
The Home Secretary is due to be in the county to make the announcement, which forms part of the commitment by the government to boost the number of police officers by 20,000 over the next three years.
The government is providing £750 million to support forces to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers by the end of 2020-21, the first stage of the drive to boost numbers.
Kent’s target is 147, among one of the highest of all forces.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside. This is the people’s priority and it is exactly what the government is delivering.
“Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year to help keep all of our communities safer.”
The government has insisted the additional officers will be on top of those recruited to fill existing vacancies.
A statement marking the news added that they would also be on top of the extra officers already being recruited because of the £1 billion increase in police funding for 2019-20, which includes money from council tax and for serious violence.
The government says it will cover the costs of recruitment in 2020-21 including training and kit.
Police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott said: "With the support of my office and local council tax-payers, Kent Police was already on target to have 450 more police officers by March 2020 than when I came into office.
"New roles have been created to boost rural policing, roads policing, town centre policing; and to tackle issues like domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and burglary in our communities.
"Today we have heard that, in addition to those 450 new recruits, Kent is to receive 147 police officers from the first allocation of the Government’s 20,000. These will be recruited over the next 18 months, by March 2021.
"These 147 officers will take Kent’s establishment to 3,779 full time police officers – in excess of summer 2010 numbers."
Mr Scott added: "I am delighted that, having had to take some tough decisions locally, we are turning things around while protecting our invaluable Police Community Support Officers and supporting our Special Constabulary and Volunteer Police Cadets too."