New Government figures that show the Dyfed Powys Police recruitment programme is on target have been welcomed by Federation branch secretary Roger Webb.
Roger said the new officers were a welcome addition to the Force, but called for improved pay to ensure it was able to retain them as well as more experienced officers.
He was speaking as the Government statistics show that Dyfed Powys Police has 1,254 officers as of 31 March, up from 1,163 at the start of the Government’s high profile Uplift programme. That’s an increase of 91 officers.
The Force was allocated 84 officers in the first two years of the programme, with a final allocation of 57, for a total of 141 officers by March 2023. It means the Force needs to recruit 50 more officers in the final year to hit its target.
Roger said: “It’s pleasing to see our Uplift programme is on track, particularly given the challenges presented by the pandemic in terms of recruitment, training, and development.
“On behalf of the Federation, I welcome them all and wish them well in their careers.
“However, it’s no good having a recruitment drive on one hand while, on the other hand, creating conditions that encourage officers to leave.
“We know from our pay and conditions survey that large numbers of our members don’t feel valued and are struggling to make ends meet.
“With the cost of living crisis really starting to bite, that’s only going to get worse.
“We need investment in our people, a proper pay rise for officers after years of plummeting wages, and spending to the infrastructure needed to support them in their work.
“It’s only with the right pay and conditions and properly rewarding people that we will continue to attract the right people and, crucially, retain them as well.”
The new Home Office figures reveal that nationally there were 142,526 police officers in England and Wales as at March 31. That’s an increase of 13,576 towards the target of 20,000 extra officers by March 2023, the Home Office said.