Suffolk Constabulary to lift police officer recruitment freeze
PUBLISHED: 15:35 23 December 2015 | UPDATED: 18:05 23 December 2015
Suffolk Constabulary is to lift is freeze on recruiting police officers after an unexpected early Christmas present from the Government.
The force announced it will now be taking on more officers following last week’s announcement that it was to get £9million more in funding over the course of four years than it was expecting.
It had been trying to make £20.5m of savings by 2020 and earlier this month announced more than 100 civilian jobs, including 68 police community support officer posts, were to go by April next year.
Twenty-six police officers who are expected to leave by then were also due to not be replaced.
The constabulary has already lost around 130 officers since April 1 last year, bring the total down to under 1,090.
The recruitment process will begin early next year with PCSOs and other civilian staff being given the first opportunities to apply.
Temporary Chief Constable Gareth Wilson said: “Last week’s news from the Home Office was far better than we had anticipated and has had a significant impact on our budgeting and savings requirement over the next few years.
“We have been running a freeze on police officer recruitment for two years now and have always planned to lift this to enable us to replace those officers who leave the organisation through retirement and natural turnover.
“Last week’s news means we are in a much stronger financial position and can open recruitment much earlier than expected, ensuring that we retain the correct workforce mix of warranted police officers, PCSOs, police staff and volunteers.
“This is not only positive for the organisation as a whole, but also for those members of staff who have been affected by our re-design.
“PCSOs and staff members within Suffolk whose roles are being removed from the organisation will have the first opportunity to apply for these posts, creating new opportunities for them and reducing the number of redundancies. “We will then open recruitment to members of the Special Constabulary before the wider public.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “I am delighted that Suffolk Constabulary will now be recruiting significant numbers of new police officers.
“This gives a huge boost to every business and home in the county as we can continue to ensure our county remains one of the safest places to live, work, travel and invest
“Despite the good news I must reiterate there are major challenges ahead and difficult choices must be made. The pattern of crime is changing rapidly in areas such as fraud, child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, with many of these crimes made worse by technology and the internet.
“The need to transform operational policing continues unabated but we can all look to the future with greater confidence.”