GWENT Police can recruit 62 new officers as part of a nationwide drive to boost ranks, the UK Government has announced.

At a National Police Board meeting, home secretary Priti Patel revealed how many extra officers each police force in England and Wales would be allowed to recruit in the first stage of the UK government's pledge to hire 20,000 officers over the next three years.

The target for Gwent Police to recruit 62 new officers will boost its ranks by 4.7 per cent.


“The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside," Ms Patel said. “This is the people’s priority and it is exactly what the government is delivering."

The recruitment targets have been allocated based on the existing formula for police funding. While Gwent Police can recruit 62 new officers, South Wales Police can hire 136.

The UK's largest police force, the Metropolitan Police, can increase its ranks by a further 1,369 officers in the first stage of the recruitment drive.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation, said he hoped future allocations would be fairer.

“Investment in policing is long overdue and for the first time we now have the actual number of officers each local force will increase by in the next year," Mr Apter said. “These figures have been based on the current funding formula models and while this method is not perfect, I accept it is the only solution available to deliver the numbers quickly in year one.

“We now need to ensure that the formula is revisited for future years to ensure a fairer allocation of officers across all forces, but this is certainly a positive start and will provide a much-needed boost to my members and the communities they serve.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson pledged to recruit 20,000 extra police officers shortly after assuming office in July.

The targets announced by Ms Patel on Tuesday comprise the first wave of that recruitment drive, in which the government said it would spend £750 million on hiring 6,000 new officers by the end of 2020-21.

Commenting on Ms Patel's announcement, secretary of state for Wales Alun Cairns said: “This Conservative government has promised to get tough on crime, and this is a positive step towards delivering on that promise. Extra police officers will make us all feel safer, on the streets and in our homes – and this is just the start.

“We will back our police and give them the power they need to crack down hard on criminals and protect the public from harm.”