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Leicestershire Police has recorded the second highest growth in new police officers as part of a nationwide recruitment drive.
The force has seen its total number of officers rise from 1,998 to 2,259 between 31 March 2020 and 31 March 2021 - a 13 per cent growth in officer numbers.
A total of 326 new officers were recruited, including 89 plus funded through the Government Uplift programme, and 100 plus via the police precept- the portion of council tax local households pay to support policing.
Uplift aims to recruit 20,000 new police officers in England and Wales by March 2023.
One of the big aims of the ongoing campaign is to recruit officers who are more representative of the communities in which they serve.
In the last year Leicestershire recorded the sixth highest rate nationally (13.3 per cent) of new police officers recruited from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background.
This has contributed to Leicestershire having the fifth overall highest representation of officers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds of police forces nationally – or 8.7 per cent of its officers- behind the Metropolitan Police, West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Bedfordshire.
Earlier this year a commitment that one in four new recruits would come from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background was reaffirmed by the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner.
The latest figures, released by the Home Office today, also show that of the new police officers recruited to work for Leicestershire Police in the last year, 40 per cent were female.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire Rupert Matthews said: “I am thrilled to see that Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland police have recorded the second-highest growth in England and Wales of new police officers over the last year. It is a testament to the fantastic work undertaken by the force. This work must and will continue to ensure all parts of our two counties have a proper police presence.
“These figures also reaffirm in my mind that this government is sincere in its commitments to improving law and order across the country.
“We live in such a diverse part of the country, and it is great to see just how well uplift’s recruitment drive is doing among our communities.
“I am a firm believer in the Peelian principle that “the police are the public and the public are the police.” Having a police force that understands our wide variety of cultures and faithfully adheres to that principle will be much better placed to protect the public.”
One of the new recruits in the last year includes PC Muleya Jumba, who joined in August 2020.
He said: “I grew up in Leicester but my family is originally from Zambia. My main motivation behind joining Leicestershire Police was to make an active change and improve relations within the community.
“I wanted people to see me through the uniform and to see me as approachable and engaging and to really challenge perceptions of the police.
“During my duties I have come across people outside the organisation who having seen me on patrol, informed me that they would never have considered becoming a police officer or joining Leicestershire Police before. It’s good to have opened people’s mind to such possibilities.”
For more information about a career with Leicestershire Police visit the Join Us section of our website.