Major West Midlands Police recruitment drive ‘will deliver safer streets’
West Midlands Police has announced plans to employ 800 new officers as well as other specialist staff in a major recruitment drive.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said the force would take on 1,150 new starters in total over the next three years.
Mr Jamieson said he was delivering on a pledge made in his re-election campaign earlier in the year.
The recruitment process is broken down to 800 new PCs, 200 specialist staff in a range of roles, such as investigators, that will help free officers from their desks and get out on the beat, and 150 Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to maintain their numbers.
It’s the second employment drive since West Midlands Police was hit by huge cuts in Government grant which led to more than 2,000 police jobs disappearing.
The last phase of recruitment for 450 officers opened in 2014 with many successful applicants trained throughout 2015 and on the beat towards the end of last year.
Even when the new officers have been taken on, the force will still not reach pre-2010 levels of police officers and civilian staff.
Mr Jamieson said:
My top pledges during my election in May were to recruit police officers, protect PCSOs and put specialist staff in place to tackle the new threats we face. I am delivering on those promises.
These new police officers and PCSOs will help make our streets safer and tackle crime. This recruitment is at nearly double the rate of my previous term in office and is only happening because of the tough decisions that have been taken to make West Midlands Police more efficient.
West Midlands Police has faced the biggest cuts of any force in the country and is receiving £2.5 million less from the government again this year. This recruitment of more than 1,000 officers and staff shows that we have the right priorities for the force.
This new phase of recruitment will also help to make the force look more like the people it serves.
The starting salary for new officers will be £23,964, with a minimum of 22 days annual leave.
The force offers diverse career opportunities, covering local policing, investigation, road policing, firearms and more. The role offers a police pension, based on average career earnings, regular opportunities for professional development, specialist training and a career in serving the public of the West Midlands.
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson added:
It is great news that we again have an opportunity to welcome a new group of recruits into West Midlands Police, which will help us to provide an even better service by bringing fresh ideas into our workforce, directly from the communities we serve.
Policing is challenging and rewarding. As a constable you’ll get to learn new skills, meet new people and you’ll never know what to expect − each day is different.
Our officers are key to delivering our vision of preventing crime, while protecting the public and helping those in need. Whether it’s responding to an emergency or working with local groups to help create a vibrant and caring community, our officers and staff will be the front line in inspiring confidence and really making a difference to people’s lives.
The area we police is richly diverse, with around 30 per cent of local people coming from ethnic minority backgrounds. We want our force to reflect that and it is key that communities know that we have a strong commitment to equality and diversity.
We have already made significant steps on recruitment. BME officers now make up nearly a third of our current recruits and we are hopeful that the next phase of recruitment builds on this so that West Midlands Police is representative of the many different cultures it serves.
Successful police applicants will need to complete two years as a probationary officer, following this, they may choose to develop their career by working their way up the ranks or specialising in a particular area of policing.
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