Herefordshire is set to benefit from a record number of police officers, as the West Mercia Police force announces its highest-ever headcount. The force's recruitment efforts, along with investment from Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, have successfully exceeded the government's target of hiring 290 additional officers.

In 2019, the government launched the Uplift campaign, which aimed to recruit 20,000 officers nationally. As of today, West Mercia Police boasts a headcount of 2,494 officers, marking an increase of 508 officers since 2016. This achievement was made possible by directing a larger portion of the police budget towards front-line service delivery.

The increased number of officers will enhance the force's visibility and accessibility, addressing the concerns of local communities. John Campion, the Police and Crime Commissioner, expressed pride in the milestone and emphasised that the benefits are already being felt throughout Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

He also pledged to continue championing reform in West Mercia Police, aiming to recruit a further 40 officers to exceed the government's target even further. Chief Constable Pippa Mills welcomed the achievement, calling it "fantastic" news for the communities they serve. She highlighted the importance of these new officers in protecting people from harm and delivering the excellent service the public deserves.

Furthermore, the force's recent recruitment drive has made it more representative of the communities it serves, with female representation reaching 35% and officers from ethnic minority backgrounds increasing from 2.4 per cent in 2019 to 3.3 per cent today.

West Mercia Police is committed to maintaining its momentum, outlining a recruiting and resourcing plan for 2023/24 that includes the recruitment of an additional 40 officers. This commitment ensures the continued presence of a strong and diverse police force, dedicated to keeping local communities safe.