Another 72 full time police officers are set to be recruited in Suffolk in the next year to bring the constabulary’s force up to more than 1,400 – its highest level for a decade.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Panel meeting heard that the national uplift programme to boost numbers resulted in 54 full-time officers joining the force last year, 53 this year and 72 planned between April 2022 and the end of March 2023.

It means by the end of the next financial year Suffolk Constabulary will have more than 1,400 full time officers – the highest number it has been for at least a decade.

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Next year the good news is, perhaps better than we thought, we have got the funding to recruit an extra 72 officers.

“It was 54 the previous year, 53 this year and 72 next year, so that is one pretty big jump. That is why I am able to say with absolute confidence there will be more than 1,400 full time equivalent officers employed by Suffolk Constabulary by March next year.

“We are well on the way to doing that and the recruitment has been going very well indeed."

It has not yet been confirmed where the extra officers will be deployed, with arrangements set to be discussed with police chiefs, but it is hoped that part of it will help address police visibility concerns.

A public consultation on the PCC’s police and crime plan for 2022-25 indicated that the most common theme emerging was around perceived lack of visibility of officers in communities.

In its response to the consultation, the PCC’s office said that some felt more physical patrols would improve visibility and feeling of safety, while others felt they needed to recognise their local officers.

It said that the wider concerns about visibility and remoteness were also linked to concerns about 101 response times – due to be addressed with a £1.4million investment funded by a council tax rise – and the closure of some smaller local police stations.

The PCC office’s analysis of the consultation said: “There was a strong feeling that neighbourhood crime and ASB [anti-social behaviour] could be prevented with more police visibility and respondents wanted greater contact with the police locally to feel safer.”