Gwent Police to Recruit New Officers

Despite continuing budget cuts to frontline policing, the recruitment of additional officers out in the community has been made possible following a comprehensive restructure of the Force operating model and the streamlining of supervisory and management roles.

The initial group of 19 trainee Police Constables will begin their training later this year and have been recruited internally from existing CSOs, Special Constables and police staff. They will be deployed across Gwent in early 2016. 21 officers will also be recruited in 2017 and a further 20 officers will be recruited in 2018.

This follows a freeze on the recruitment of new Police officers which has been in place since August 2013. The officers recruited will help the Force to deliver an effective service across Gwent and the new intake will also help replace the large numbers of officers recruited in the 1980s who are now retiring or are due to retire over the next few years.

Chief Constable Jeff Farrar commented: "This is a very positive announcement for both Gwent Police and the public who the new officers will eventually serve. The new officers will help replace colleagues who have retired or left the service and will be deployed across Gwent in a variety of different roles.

"Whilst we continue to operate in a very challenging financial climate the public's expectation of the service they should receive remains quite rightly high. The recruitment of new officers and staff is a key part of our on-going work to adapt the Force into a more efficient organisation which provides the public with the best possible service.

Our long term strategy to adapt to the financial challenges is working and involves doing things in smarter and more efficient ways. However there is only so much you can only do by working smarter at some point you need a new intake of officers which is what I'm delighted to be announcing today. In my view there is no greater satisfaction than public service and I look forward to meeting our first new intake of officers who will help ensure that the residents of Gwent are kept safe and reassured in the future."

Welcoming the news of additional frontline officers, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "The funding of Gwent Police and the provision of policing services in Gwent form part of my statutory duties and it is my responsibility to ensure that Gwent has appropriate levels of policing to meet the requirements of communities whilst making the necessary savings.

Despite the continued brutal cuts to frontline policing, we still have a need to recruit new officers to keep the public of Gwent safe. The Force has undertaken a significant restructure of its operating model to future proof policing and service provision here in Gwent to ensure we have the appropriate level of staffing and resources required within the constraints set.

Thanks to this prudent planning, which was recently acknowledged in a report by HMIC, the Chief Constable has been able to provide extra officers on the frontline by streamlining the management structure and recruiting existing staff members to replace those who have retired or have left the service. In reality this will mean a reduced number of supervisors. This is no mean feat considering the enormity of the financial challenges we face with on-going public spending cuts. I would like to congratulate the Force on all of their hard work in making this is possible."