Hundreds join Devon and Cornwall Police in force's biggest recruitment drive ever

A total of 1,446 officers have been hired. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

Devon and Cornwall Police has recruited hundreds of officers in the "biggest recruitment drive in the force's history".

Between 2019 and 2023, the force hired a total of 1,446 officers through combination of methods:

  • The force's usual recruitment programme

  • Precept funding, police funding raised via local council tax

  • Police Uplift Programme, the Government's drive to recruit 20,000 officers by March 2023

Deputy Chief Constable, Jim Colwell said: “Having had to reduce officer numbers, our communities had been asking for many years for a boost in officer numbers and we were delighted when the Uplift and council precept funding was made available to us.

“Our teams have worked tirelessly over the last three years to ensure we have recruited the right people with the right attributes to become a police officer in Devon and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

"I have been fortunate enough to have met a number of our new recruits and they all share the same level of professionalism and dedication.

“While a number of these new officers will still be going through their training, there are a substantial number who are already out there in our communities making a real difference.

"We have been able to boost resources in a range of key teams and departments to help us keep people safe and bring dangerous offenders to justice.

"We have bolstered our frontline patrol teams across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, as well as increase resilience in our neighbourhood policing and Roads Policing teams."

"Real focus on increasing diversity"

The force said that it has placed a "real focus" on increasing diversity. A police spokesperson said: "Since 2019 there has been a 77% increase in officers identifying as white non-British, 37.5% increase in officers identifying as Black, Asian, or ethnically diverse and an increase in female officers from 908 to 1,266, a rise of 39%"

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “Well done to Devon and Cornwall Police on achieving our target to deliver a record number of police officers of 3,716 by Friday 31 March 2023.

“This is the largest amount of police officers we have had on record since the inception and is thanks to the Government and council taxpayers.

“Now we have the job of getting these officers fully trained with the experience they need to get out into our communities to serve the public who have long awaited their arrival.”