Somerset to get more police despite cuts

PUBLISHED: 20:00 30 September 2011

(click on image for larger view) Police Drink Drive Check Point, Beach Rd, WsM. Morning After Checks. Police Vest with Badge.

(click on image for larger view) Police Drink Drive Check Point, Beach Rd, WsM. Morning After Checks. Police Vest with Badge.

Archant

POLICE numbers in Somerset will be boosted in the new year when 24 new recruits will join the force.

Despite the state of the economy Avon and Somerset Constabulary is pushing ahead with adding extra officers to improve front-line policing.

Chief Constable Colin Port said: “Some time ago we started a recruitment process, but unfortunately we had to suspend it because of the budgetary challenges facing us.

“It is very important that, whatever our difficulties, we take every opportunity to maintain and enhance our front line service.”

The new recruits are taken from those who had started training before recruitment was suspended to save money.

The majority of police funding comes from the Government, and this has been reduced by £40million in Avon and Somerset over four years.

Since the last comprehensive spending review in 2005/06, the force has received £59million less in grants than it needed.

Due to financial pressures the force will not be taking on more recruits in the foreseeable future.

Chief Cons Port said: “It is regrettable that we are not in the position where we can open our recruitment doors to anybody out there who is interested in becoming a police officer.

“The community would be far better served by us drawing on people who have already met many of the standards we need from our officers.”

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