Home Secretary Priti Patel has revealed just over 3,000 people have signed up to be police officers including more than 400 in the Anglia region.

The figures follow the launch of the government’s campaign in September 2019 to recruit 20,000 extra officers over the next three years.

The recruitment drive was one of Boris Johnson’s key Tory leadership campaign promises.

But there was criticism over cuts which saw officer numbers slashed by around 20,000 after 2010 and there have been warnings about the time it takes to train new recruits.

The Home Secretary spoke to new recruits this morning via video link.

The Essex MP thanked them for sign ing up at a time when forces were also trying to enforce Covid-19 regulations.

"Each one of these brave officers will make a difference in helping to cut crime and keep people safe. For many, their first role has been to join the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.

Priti Patel MP

The announcement comes as one of the region's police forces announced that attacks on their officers had risen by almost a third this year.

The government said that 3,005 joined the police specifically as part of the uplift programme.

In total, forces recruited 6,435 officers from November 2019 to March 2020, including recruitment planned before the government campaign was announced.

A total of 416 officers have joined the police forces in the Anglia region.

The regional breakdown of new recruits is as follows:

  • Thames Valley (which covers Milton Keynes) - 151

  • Essex - 64

  • Cambridgeshire - 49

  • Hertfordshire - 46

  • Norfolk - 41

  • Suffolk - 28

  • Bedfordshire - 22

  • Northamptonshire -18

The total number of police officers in the eight police forces in the Anglia region has risen from 16,600 to just over 17,000.

The government also stressed that recruitment would continue despite the pandemic - with the College of Policing rolling out new online assessment centres