Police officer numbers in Hertfordshire are continuing to climb towards their highest in seven years.
Another fifteen new officers joined the Constabulary on Wednesday (June 20th) at a ceremony at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City watched by family and friends.
The group will join areas across the county including three of each who will be going to Watford or Broxbourne, and two of each who will be going to St Albans, East Herts or Hertsmere.
Mr Lloyd inspects the new recruits
Earlier this year the Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd increased the Council Tax policing precept by an average of £24 a year to fund an extra 75 front line officers.
The additional constables that are now being recruited and graduated are on course to boost the force officer numbers over 2,000 for the first time since 2011.
Hats off to the 15 new front line officers On parade at Police HQ at Welwyn Garden City
Addressing the graduates Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson said: “Welcome to team Hertfordshire and you are now part of our policing family.
“Policing is the most wonderful job but it is very demanding - this job will inspire, test, stretch, challenge and delight you. You will make a positive difference to people’s lives. Policing is about putting the public first, reducing crime and keeping people safe and visible policing is part of our ethos as we are keen to see more officers on foot and on bicycles so they can interact with the public.”
At the ceremony Mr Lloyd said: “There are three groups that I want to say thank you to today. The first is the Council Tax payer who has given an extra £24 a year on average that I asked for to pay for more officers, and you are some of the officers from that investment.
“Secondly are the family and friends of these new officers, they are undertaking a really difficult job and will need your support.
“Then of course the graduating officers themselves. You in many ways you are giving up your lives for the next twenty five to thirty years to a higher calling. It is a great privilege for you to serve the public in their hour of need.”
Mr Lloyd addresses the new officers
The officers who graduated will be in the following areas –
Watford – PC Michael Gallagher, PC Graeme Miller and PC Christopher Thorn
Broxbourne – PC Ross Brown, PC Laura Bryan and DC Paul Dicker
St Albans – PC Amy Nugent and PC Lauren Robinson
East Herts – PC Robin Knight and PC Rachael Gunn
Hertsmere – PC Connor Eggenton and PC Daniel Hill
Dacorum – PC Debbie Graham
Three Rivers – PC Michael Branson
Welwyn Hatfield – PC David Lewinton
The PCC has used the increase in the precept to provide the funding for the Chief Constable to recruit and pay for an extra 75 officers next year.
The Commissioner has remained committed to maintaining the neighbourhood policing model in Hertfordshire. The total Establishment figure the 2019/2020 financial year has been set at 2,009 officers plus funding for an additional 25 officers.
The actual number of police officers employed by the end of the financial year in 2012 was 1,984.