The Home Office has released the latest recruitment figures in relation to Operation Uplift.
Across the UK, there are an additional 3,005 officers as part of the recruitment drive, with 24 of these in Gwent.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “I welcome today’s publication of the new Operation Uplift statistics, which show the local impact of the national recruitment drive. These additional officers will help Gwent Police to continue to protect and reassure our residents, ensuring Gwent remains a safe place to live, work or visit.
“Policing is an exciting career, with excellent opportunities and a chance to make a difference for communities served. I see this evidenced every day. I’m delighted to welcome these new officers to the policing family and I am sure their commitment to public service will make a mark locally.
“However, I must stress that recruitment alone will not be enough to tackle the challenges we face today. There needs to be continued sustainable investment from UK Government; not only in policing, but the wider criminal justice system too. Only through a holistic approach to investment in the entire system will we be able drive the change we seek.
“Since the start of the UK Government’s austerity programme in 2010/11, our budget in Gwent has been reduced by 40% in real terms. Despite this, I am proud to say that we have recruited more than 400 police officers since 2016, of which almost 150 are new policing posts. The new Operation Uplift posts will complement this substantial local invetsment.”
Operation Uplift aims to recruit 20,000 extra officers over the next three years, with about 160 of these being created in Gwent.
Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “I know that our local communities want to see more of our officers in their area and the first stage of Operation Uplift gave us an opportunity to bring more officers into front-line policing. Gwent is a fantastic place to live and work and we are lucky to have such talented individuals joining our police family.
We want Gwent residents and visitors to feel safe and confident in our ability to protect them. The officers recruited so far, alongside the local investment we have already made, means we are better placed to do this than at any other point since austerity measures were introduced in 2010. We will continue to make the best possible use of the remaining officers Gwent will recruit over the next two years to benefit our communities and tackle crime across Gwent.”