Dozens more Lincolnshire Police officers needed to meet recruitment target
Dozens more officers need to be hired by Lincolnshire Police to meet the Government's recruitment target, new figures show.
The Police Federation of England and Wales has said it is "unlikely" the Government will meet its target of 20,000 new police officers across the two countries by March.
Home Office figures show there were 1,161 police officers for Lincolnshire in December 2022, down 1% from 1,168 the year before.
The overall decline in the force is despite 141 officers being recruited through the Government's uplift programme – 85% of the target of 166 new officers in the area.
Across England and Wales, over 16,800 additional police officers have joined the force since April 2020 as part of the Government’s pledge to recruit 20,000 new officers by March. It means 84% of that target has been achieved.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she is "delighted" that she believes the Government is on track to fulfilling the pledge.
"This next generation of brave police officers will add to efforts to drive down invasive crimes like burglary and neighbourhood offences, return to common sense policing and make our communities feel safer and stronger," she added.
Policing and Crime Minister Chris Philp said: "In a matter of months, when this once-in-a-generation recruitment drive is complete and we have a record number of officers across England and Wales, our police forces will be more representative than ever of the communities they serve."
The figures also show a record number of female officers, with more than 51,100 at the end of last year.
Additionally, there were about 11,700 police officers who identify as being from an ethnic minority – more than ever before.
In Lincolnshire Police, there were 326 female officers (28%) and 23 officers identifying from an ethnic minority (2%).
Tiff Lynch, PFEW Deputy National Chair Tiff Lynch, said it seems unlikely the promised recruitment numbers will be reached despite the government's "positive rhetoric"."While the uplift programme aim to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers was welcome, it should not be overlooked that it was the Government who cut the number of officers in the first place," Ms Lynch added.
She said that the numbers do not take into account the real picture: "Latest figures indicate 8,117 police officers left the service in England and Wales in the year ending March 2022 – the highest number of leavers since comparable records began, and at least 1,800 of those officers who joined under the Government Uplift Programme have already voluntarily resigned.
"Police officers work tirelessly to fulfil their duty to protect the public and uphold the law. In return, all they want is fair treatment, consistent welfare support and pay proportionate to prevailing economic conditions and the dangers they face as part of the job."