Hertfordshire police has exceeded its recruitment target following a national drive to get more officers on the beat. 

The constabulary now has 338 extra officers than in September 2019, bringing the total headcount to 2,415 - 34 higher than its original target.

This is the most officers in the force's history. In 2010, when the Conservative government came into power, Hertfordshire was served by 2,130 officers.

David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, welcomed the news.

“It is fantastic news that here in Hertfordshire we have exceeded the uplift target for new officers, and there are now more police on the streets than ever before," he said.

“Residents and businesses have repeatedly told me that they want to see more frontline officers, and that is what has been delivered.

The Comet: Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd with new recruits

“We are in a good place in Hertfordshire with more officers available to address those persistent crimes which cause concern in our communities.

"This includes burglary, vehicle crime, drug offences, serious youth violence, driving offences and those offences which particularly effect women and girls.

“Just last month Hertfordshire was recognised as one of the safest places to live in England and Wales, with the fifth lowest crime rate among all the 43 police force areas.”

“I also welcome the fact that more women and those from ethnic minorities are joining Hertfordshire Constabulary, so that it can better reflect the populations it serves.”

Read more

Over the past three years out of the total of 719 new officers recruited 313, or 43.5 per cent, were women. While 61 student officers, or 8.48 per cent, were from ethnic minority backgrounds.

These figures are on top of the regular recruitment levels, which ordinarily cater for retirements and those leaving for other reasons.

The campaign to recruit 20,000 additional police officers nationally was launched in September 2019.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall said the new recruits had already had positive effects on policing across the county.

“I have taken great pleasure in personally welcoming as many of our new recruits to Hertfordshire as possible.

"It is good news for our constabulary and the people of Hertfordshire that we have exceeded our recruitment target and a testament to my team that so many officers want to work in our county.

“These extra officers are already contributing towards an enhanced policing service and I have been delighted to hear about the positive effect they have been having.

“We are reaching out to our diverse communities to encourage Black, Asian and ethnic minority people to consider a policing career as we still have work to do to ensure we truly reflect the communities we serve.

“Our focus now moves to maintaining the record number of officers we have and promoting the various routes open to those wanting to become a police officer. It is also a great opportunity to increase our diversity further and attract more talent into the force.”

He added: “Policing remains a great career, with much to offer, and the genuine opportunity to make a positive difference to people’s lives. You don’t need a degree to apply to become a police officer but one of our training routes – the degree apprenticeship – means you will achieve a degree by the end of your training, with no student fees to repay.

“We offer a traditional police officer training course, an apprenticeship degree scheme, graduate route and a detective programme.”

The Comet: Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami with PCC David Lloyd

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami also welcomed the news.

He said: “From working with our local police force, I know just how valuable 338 more police officers will be in helping crack down on crime in our local community.

“These recruits mean there are now 2,415 police officers in Hertfordshire – record numbers for our area – and more police officers than ever before across the country, helping to pursue criminals and tackle anti-social behaviour, keeping neighbourhoods safe for the law-abiding majority."