Uplift has the “potential to transform the service in Bedfordshire”
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Kathryn Holloway, has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Home Secretary, Priti Patel, that 20,000 new police posts are to be created. She said that her uniquely exposed and under-resourced police force could be transformed by the promised uplift.
The PCC said:
“This uplift is the largest single increase in Police Constables that has been promised at one time in policing history and, of course, it’s hugely welcome as it shows that law and order is now topping the agenda of the new Government.
“Where Bedfordshire Police is concerned, it quite simply has the potential to transform police service to the public, depending of course on the number of Police Constables which is allocated to us.
“It’s quite clear that the new Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, want this uplift to allow Policing as a whole to not only deal with crime reactively but to get ahead of the curve and deal with it proactively, through meaningful crime prevention work. To do that you have to have the numbers; that’s a matter of common sense.”
PCC calls for Policing Educational Qualifications Framework to be abandoned
She also discounted the suggestions that a lack of lockers would prevent the uplift from being able to be delivered.
“I would prefer by far, as would my Chief Constable, to be dealing with the challenges of expanding a police force quickly, rather than those involved in contracting it; so, where all what Boris would call “gloomsters” are concerned, I would like to confirm that I will pay for lockers to get desperately needed officers into this county.”
The PCC suggested that the College of Policing’s plan to insist that all police officers have a degree and to spend more time in the classroom could be a genuine blocker to the uplight.
“We simply can’t allow this programme – whatever your viewpoint on whether it is even necessary for every single officer to have a degree – to de-rail the greatest uplift in police numbers ever to re-fill the void which has opened up since 2010.
“This so called Policing Educational Qualifications Framework – PEQF – has to be abandoned now as the sole route into the service for new PCs from 2021. Just putting it back by another year, which is one proposal, won’t be good enough. We need both a degree programme and a non-degree training route.”
The new Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, is due to visit Bedfordshire Police in September.