Boost for Priti Patel as 100,000 people apply for 20,000 police jobs

Boost for Priti Patel after 100,000 people apply for 20,000 police jobs as Home Secretary steps up crime-busting drive

  • Home Secretary Priti Patel is due to launch a new phase of a crime-busting police recruitment campaign today
  • So far 6,000 police officers have been hired across forces in England and Wales 
  • Police numbers fell by more than 21,000 in England and Wales during austerity 

More than 100,000 hopefuls have applied to fill 20,000 vacancies for police officers, the Home Office has revealed.

The huge number will be a boost to Home Secretary Priti Patel today as she launches a new phase of a crime-busting recruitment campaign.

So far, 6,000 officers have been hired across England and Wales and the Home Office aims to take on a similar number this year.

The next phase will be backed by TV, radio and social media adverts aimed at graduates and career-changers as well as school-leavers.

Total applications so far have exceeded 107,000 since the drive began at the end of 2019, according to a Home Office source.

A department spokesman said: ‘The 6,000 who have already signed up are just the start and this new round of recruitment will mean more police on our streets helping to cut crime and keep people safe.’

Last month it was announced that police and crime commissioners will be able to increase council tax bills to pay for extra officers and other crime-fighting costs.

If they opt to impose the maximum amount on the precept, then total police funding could reach £15.8billion next year in England and Wales. This includes £400million to continue the recruitment of 20,000 officers by 2023.

More than 100,000 hopefuls have applied to fill 20,000 vacancies for police officers, the Home Office has revealed [Stock image]

Police numbers fell by more than 21,000 in England and Wales during austerity.

In another development, Miss Patel was yesterday accused of ‘forgetting’ the real issues faced by police officers as they try to deal with foreign criminals.

Former Scotland Yard chief Lord Blair said there had been too much focus on stopping offenders getting into Britain or deporting them after conviction and not enough on ‘practical’ issues.

He claimed Britain’s loss of access to EU crime and security databases in the transition deal had made the country ‘less safe’.

The crossbench peer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The police have been beating the drum quietly saying this is going to make us less safe and I’m afraid that is what is going to happen.

‘I think what the Home Secretary has been doing is concentrating on illegal immigration and has forgotten the real, practical issues facing officers in their cars as we speak today.

The huge number of applications will be a boost to Home Secretary Priti Patel today as she launches a new phase of a crime-busting recruitment campaign. Pictured: Patel exists a car in London on September 22, 2020

‘We have lost the European arrest warrant which we used to send 12,000 suspects to Europe for trial in the last decade and 1,600 of our own offenders back.

‘We’ve lost full access to Europe-wide, real-time databases on criminal records, DNA, fingerprints, criminal intelligence.

‘One of the other things we will lose is knowing who is coming here and their records on aeroplanes. We will know their names but we won’t know whether they have a criminal record.’ 

Last month MPs heard that the transition deal could leave a ‘gap’ in knowledge on foreign criminals.

Last night a Home Office source said: ‘These are the same old tired arguments from people who never wanted to leave the EU.

‘For Ian Blair to say Britain is less secure is offensive to the police and security services who work tirelessly to keep us safe. 

‘There are tried-and-tested systems in place which involve co-operation with Interpol. These are already used with the rest of the world and were used with the EU before 2015.’

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