Gwent Police has welcomed an additional 36 officers to the force since an uplift in officer numbers was announced by the government last year.

According to figures released today by the Home Office, Wales now has 233 additional police officers from last year.

This includes 36 additional officers for Gwent Police, eight additional officers for Dyfed-Powys Police, 92 for North Wales Police and 97 for South Wales Police.

This follows the launch of the government’s campaign in September 2019 to recruit 20,000 extra officers over the next three years.

The figures show 9,327 new officers joined 43 forces across England and Wales between October 2019 – June 2020. 4,336 of these were specifically recruited as part of the uplift programme, others were recruited to backfill leavers or through locally funded recruitment.

Deputy Chief Constable of Gwent Police Amanda Blakeman said: “So far we’ve welcomed an additional 36 officers to our policing family following the uplift in funding by the government last year.

“This investment in policing has helped us deliver our existing recruitment plans and fill essential vacancies to protect and reassure the communities of Gwent.

“Throughout the current pandemic we’ve continued to recruit and train new officers, helping us meet our demands of providing an effective police service during these challenging times.

“It’s extremely rewarding to see new skills and talent joining our police service. With an additional 26 officers joining our wider policing family by the end of 2020, this takes us closer to the number of officers in role before measures were introduced during a period of austerity.

’’We are planning ahead to make sure we use this new capacity to tackle the issues that are most important to our local communities.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “These additional serving officers will help us continue to provide an effective service for the communities of Gwent, ensuring it remains a safe place to live, work or visit.

“Policing represents a dynamic career and service. Every day I see the differences being made by Gwent Police and now, more than ever before it’s important that policing continues to receive the funding it requires to keep communities safe.

“These additional officers help rebuild establishment levels following austerity measures that saw the budget of Gwent Police reduce by 40 per cent in real terms.

’’To everyone already part of our wider policing family or those considering joining, I want to stress the value and importance you play in safeguarding the vulnerable and helping those in need.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “We are delivering on the people’s priorities – putting more police officers on the streets to keep us safe.

“Our brave police officers have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic, clearly inspiring many others to join them.

“My support for them remains unwavering – they deserve our utmost gratitude and respect.”