Dyfed Powys has seen its officer numbers increase by two per cent in the 12 months to September 2021, new Government figures reveal.
Federation branch chair Gareth Jones has welcomed the increase, which is as a result of the Uplift Programme, but warned that a rise in officer numbers will not be enough on its own and it must be matched with a long-term commitment to police funding and fair pay.
Gareth said: “Getting more officers through the door is a win for the Police Federation in Dyfed Powys and nationally, but it is only really getting back to where we were before the austerity cuts.
“Things have moved on since 2010. Not only has is the population increasing but we’re seeing crime getting more and more complex and this stretches our resources even further. If the Force is to retain able and experienced officers, it is vital that we have the right equipment, training and support and of course pay that keeps pace with the rising cost of living for our officers.”
The total number of officers for England and Wales is 139,939, which is an increase of 11,505 since October 2019. Dyfed Powys’ share of the Government’s promised 20,000 uplift is 141 officers, and if achieved it would increase Force numbers to 1,214 by March 2023 (from 1,163 currently).
The Federation’s interim chair, Ché Donald, has backed Gareth’s comments, saying: “We need long-term recruitment and sustainable funding in policing, and police leaders must ensure they don’t just focus on getting people through the door, but also do what is needed to retain them, such as fair pay processes, investment in wellbeing and better benefits, as retention is still a problem across the service.”