Twenty new police officers for Derbyshire

Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, Hardyal Dhindsa, with the county's new coppers.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, Hardyal Dhindsa, with the county's new coppers.

Twenty new police officers have been recruited by Derbyshire Constabulary.

The officers - who were sworn in at an attestation ceremony held at the force's headquarters in Ripley - will now be posted across the county including Chesterfield, Ilkeston and Buxton.

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Among their ranks are a former painter and decorator, estate agent, park ranger, police community support officers and special constables.

The new officers are as a result of extra funding from the increase in the council tax precept that Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, Hardyal Dhindsa, secured to help increase officer numbers this year.

Mr Dhindsa, said: "I'm very proud to welcome our latest recruits to the force and would like to congratulate them all for their achievements during their initial training.

"These officers will have a vital job as ambassadors for public safety across Derbyshire and I would like to thank them for choosing to join what is a very dedicated and hardworking team.

"Policing is a challenging career but it is also one of the most rewarding and I'm sure the passion and commitment of these new officers will be greatly appreciated among our communities."

Paul Gibson, Assistant Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, added: "This is great news for our communities that we have recruited new constables.

"The recruitment process is challenging but allows for the best candidates to be given an opportunity to fulfil their dreams of becoming a police officer.

"I'd like to congratulate them all and welcome them to the fantastic policing family here in Derbyshire.

"They've worked hard to get to this point but now the real work begins.

"To the recruits I'd like to say - work hard, enjoy yourself, challenge yourself and become the best officer you can be."

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Prime Minister promises 20,000 new officers over next three years

Mr Dhindsa also commented on new Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that he has initiated the recruitment of 20,000 police officers over the next three years.

Mr Dhindsa said: "Clearly I welcome the idea, in fact it’s long overdue - I have repeatedly called for an increase in officer numbers to keep our communities safe.

"In Derbyshire alone, even with the increase in officers enabled by this year's council tax rise, we are still roughly 400 officers down on 2010 figures.

"This has put untold pressure on our officers, while victims have gone without justice as offenders take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the cuts to our establishment in the knowledge that too many crimes are going unpunished.

"While I will do everything within my power to work with the Government to make this work, I do question the feasibilities.

"Any increase to officer numbers needs to be supported by a long-term funding to commitment to policing and the entire criminal justice infrastructure.

"This must not be a populist (and short-term) electioneering headline, only to be kicked into to the long grass when it’s served its headline grabbing purpose.

"I do question where the money is going to come from in the long-term.

"I'm clear this bill should not land at the feet of local people's council tax - it's time for the Government to put its own money where its mouth is.

"You have to remember that this is not just about the cost of additional officers, there is a raft of associated on-costs: recruitment for a start, followed by training, uniforms, equipment such as mobiles and technology, vehicles, even having the room space for the new officers' lockers - it's a long list and not cheap.

"I am also thinking about our partners in other agencies, who have also been subjected to damaging funding cuts.

"They will be under even more pressure unless there is a similar uplift in their own establishment.

"For example, at Chesterfield court, if you are charged today, your trial is unlikely to take place before November.

"If a lot more people are charged, how long will it take for their case to heard.

"It's not just about preventing crime and catching criminals, we need to make sure that the guilty are convicted and punished.

"This announcement makes no mention of that.

“All these points must be taken into account if the system isn't to implode.

"This move highlights that the cuts have been too deep for too long making all the pain experienced by the public and the police over the last nine years seem particularly unnecessary."

Mr Johnson said: "People want to see more officers in their neighbourhoods, protecting the public and cutting crime."

Home Secretary Priti Patel added: "Officers up and down the country put themselves in danger every day to keep us safe, they deserve our support.

"The rise we've seen in serious violence is deeply worrying. An additional 20,000 officers sends a clear message that we are committed to giving police the resources they need to tackle the scourge of crime.

"This is the start of a new relationship between the Government and the police working even more closely together to protect the public."