Torbay MP Kevin Foster has welcomed the announcement police ranks in Devon and Cornwall have been bolstered with an additional 61 officers since the Government launched its major recruitment drive in September 2019.

Devon and Cornwall PoliceDevon and Cornwall Police

Mr Foster said: “Our policing teams have been working hard to support our local community and tackle the emerging patterns of crime during the current lockdown.

“These extra officers will help the response to Covid-19 and provide an ongoing resource to tackle crime across our community.”

Across England and Wales, more than 3,000 extra officers have now joined the police since the recruitment campaign was launched, confirming the Government is on track to recruit 20,000 extra officers over the next three years.

This national recruitment campaign will be in addition to the extra officers being recruited in Devon and Cornwall as part of the plans agreed by Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.

In total, forces recruited 6,435 officers from November, 2019, to March, 2020 - including recruitment planned before the Government campaign was announced – with 3,005 recruits joining the police specifically as part of the uplift programme.

There are now a total of 3,176 officers in Devon and Cornwall with 131,596 across England and Wales.

The recruitment drive is at the centre of the Government’s commitment to back the police with more resources, powers and support to keep communities safe, said Mr Foster.

Other steps include the biggest funding boost for the policing system in a decade, a new covenant to recognise the service and sacrifice of the police, funding to provide more than 8,000 more officers with Taser to keep themselves and the public safe, expanded stop and search powers, and plans to consult on increasing the maximum sentence for assaulting police officers and other emergency service workers.

Alongside new recruits, the Government has also taken further action to support the police’s coronavirus response.

This includes testing for all essential workers, including police officers and support staff; the relaxation of tax rules to encourage officers nearing retirement and those recently retired to serve; and the unlocking of £84 million for forces to use in fight against coronavirus.