Leicestershire Police has exceeded its police officer recruitment target strengthening police numbers across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
In March 2019, the Government set the force a target of increasing its police officer numbers by 297 over three years but Leicestershire Police has successfully increased this number to 340 officers – an increase of 17 per cent.
The boost is part of the national Police Uplift Programme which was launched to significantly increase police officer numbers across the country by 20,000.
The officers have joined Leicestershire Police through a variety of entry routes including the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP); the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP); the Direct Entry Detective Programme (DC DHEP) and the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).
The force now has 2,338 police officers helping to serve our communities more effectively.
Chief Constable Rob Nixon said: “Hitting this target is great for the people we serve. I am proud my team of staff, trainers and officers who have delivered this uplift and our huge investment in training continues. We tried new things and have been bold to make sure our force attracts the right people, keeps standards high, and is more representative of the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”
“Our numbers are healthier and our recruitment plan has been successful but we are still facing enormous demand as the population of our area grows and crime becomes more complex. Our new recruits are up for the challenge, and have the force’s full support, but it takes time for new officers to get to know all they need.
“14.6 per cent of new recruits are from a black and minority ethnic background. This is significant improvement and great news, bringing us to 9.2 per cent of the force, but this still does not reflect the challenge we have set ourselves to be reflective of the communities we service so there is more work to do.
“I am particularly pleased that 44.7 per cent of the new recruits are female. This is a big positive step. I also want this force to continue to be an employer of choice and by developing more innovative entry points for different people we can continue to succeed in this area.”
In the last few years Leicestershire Police has re-developed its training and career development capabilities and come up with new ways for people to train, ensuring that a modern approach is taken to developing staff.
Examples of this are:
Team Leicestershire Academy (TLA)
The TLA was created to deliver all the training for student officers as well as all the leadership, learning and development in force. All new officers spend their first months in the TLA learning through a mix of classroom lectures and practical exercises including driver training. It supports all new officers to continually develop the skills, capabilities, expertise and knowledge they need to deliver an outstanding police service.
The Digital Academy supports the TLA by providing an online platform for a huge library of resources, training material and information. It is a one-stop-shop of online training which can be accessed 24/7 and is used by both student officers, and those with more experience, to back up their face to face training and ensure they are kept up to date with any changes in legislation or police procedures.
A dedicated team of three officers led by a sergeant has been set up to attract people into the force and support candidates through the recruitment process. They have attended hundreds of recruitment events at schools, colleges, universities and employment fairs talking to thousands of people about becoming a police officer and the wonderful opportunities a career in the police can provide. They have also worked closely with applicants helping them through each recruitment stage offering advice and support.
Operational Skills Training
The force’s Operational Skills Training Team have put hundreds of new and existing officers through their Public and Personal Safety Training, Public Order Training; first aid; the force fitness test; dealing with disorder as well as Taser and CBRN training (for those who are eligible).
Chief Constable Rob Nixon continued; “It is an incredible achievement, to not only reach our target but to exceed it, and I am very proud of all the people who have made that happen.
“Our work continues to attract the brightest and the best. Our training is in place, we need to support those who have joined us, continue to press to be more representative of our area, and keep standards high. There is more to do but we are absolutely committed to continuing to build a diverse and passionate workforce who are motivated by making a difference and holding the confidence and trust of the people we serve.”
To see some of our fabulous new officers in action watch our new four-part series on BBC 3 called “Fresh Cops.