AN intake of 160 new police officers will soon be walking the streets of Lancashire after the service announced its latest recruitment drive.
The move has been welcomed by union bosses but have warned it will not result in any extra officers on the streets and the new recruits will replace those who have already left or in the process of leaving the police.
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Lancashire Police Federation chairman Rachel Baines said even with the new appointments it would still mean they would “only just be keeping their heads above water”.
Mrs Baines said: “It is great news that we are going to get some new recruits.
“We have obviously been struggling for a number of years. Budget cuts means we have lost nearly 900 police officers and this isn’t replacing those it’s just to replace those who have already left.
“We are still waiting for the results of the funding formula. Depending on the results of that there may be a further loss of police officers.”
Police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw said the service is looking to recruit 160 new officers “to tackle crime, support the vulnerable and keep communities safe”. Mr Grunshaw said: “This is an important investment in Lancashire Constabulary and a chance to recruit officers from under-represented communities.
“We need to replace the officers due to leave in the coming months in order to ensure the force can continue to deliver the high level of service that residents rightly expect. But the public also need to know they are being policed by officers who understand and relate to them, which is why I am committed to making sure the workforce better reflects our diverse communities.”
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: “The way we police our communities has changed significantly over recent years and we are keen to recruit individuals who can represent the diverse communities we serve. There are a wide range of roles that require an ever growing range of skills such as languages, IT, customer services and working with vulnerable people including the elderly and young as well as the under-represented communities and we need to attract people from a wider audience to reflect this.”
Following the recruitment process, training will start in autumn 2017 and the new officers will be posted across Lancashire.
Applicants can apply online at Lancashire.police.uk/policeofficer from November 1 to November 18.
Last year it was feared Lancashire would lose £24.5 million from its budget after a Home Office error was made in the way its Central Government funding entitlement was worked out. That process, which would have led to the loss of hundreds of jobs, was delayed in November.