1. ITV Report

Welsh police force sharing police stations to put more officers on the beat

Ollie Forse and Ch Supt Marc Budden from Gwent Police. Credit: ITV News

One police force in Wales says it's selling off its stations to pay for officers on the beat.

Across Wales the numbers of officers in service has declined over the last ten years but recruitment is now on the up.

Gwent Police has signed up nearly four hundred new officers since 2016.

Ollie Forse is has graduated as a police officer after nearly six months in training college.

PC Ollie Force is now an officer on the beat. Credit: ITV News

Really enjoyed it.

Already seeing a real practical side of the learning that we've done over in our training centre in Cwmbran.

And really getting to put the practical side onto the theory that we've learned over the last 23 weeks.

– PC Ollie Forse, Gwent Police

Ollie's not the only few face on the streets of Gwent.

The force have recruited over 170 new officers this year.

new officers in Gwent this year

Officer recruitment rates in Wales 2016-2017. Source: Home Office figures

  • Gwent: increased by 4.5 per cent
  • Dyfed Powys: increased by 1 per cent
  • South Wales: increased by 0.9 per cent
  • North Wales: decreased by 1.1 per cent

Compared with a decade ago, however, all four forces have suffered a sharp decline in numbers.

In order to recruit new officers Gwent Police has done this, in part, by saving money on police stations.

Ch Supt Marc Budden explains the force is making cost savings by sharing police stations. Credit: ITV News

We're sharing with different services.

So Abertillery is a prime example of that, we now share a police station with the fire service and ambulance service and we're making great efficiency savings by doing so.

We're utilising that money then and putting that into the front line to be able to recruit more officers.

– Ch Supt Marc Budden, Gwent Police

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