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Fed says Uplift is "replenishing not increasing" headcount

Federation vice chair Tiff Lynch argued that recruiting 20,000 new police officers won't be enough to reach previous levels, while she and NPCC Chairman Martin Hewitt both expressed retention concerns.

The recently elected Vice Chair of the Police Federation has questioned the Uplift programme arguing that it is "replenishing, not increasing" numbers.

Tiff Lynch put this suggestion to the Home Office's John Chadwick during a session at yesterday's Emergency Services Show in Birmingham, referencing a previous interview in which former Policing Minister Kit Malthouse admitted that well over 40,000 officers
would have to be recruited to reach previous levels.

The Leicestershire Police Officer asked: "What are we going to do to get to this number of 48,000 officers?" Mr Chadwick admitted that while he doesn't "recognise the 48,000 figure", forces will have to recruit 9,000 officers a year over the next two years to keep numbers even.

This recruitment need exists outside of the Uplift programme, which as of the end of June had seen 13,790 officers recruited - nine months out from the deadline in March next year.

Ms Lynch also raised the issue of retaining those 20,000 new recruits, should they be enlisted on time.

Speaking at the same event, NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt  said retention was one of the challenges associated with having a new government.

He said: "The line of attack that we need to take into the government is that it's really good that they've provided the funding to recruit the extra officers, but we need to make sure they're doing what they need to be doing."

Warning that "some of these 20,000 officers will leave" if they aren't supported properly, Mr Hewitt said the government can aid retention in a number of ways - including continuing to work on pay scales and offering public support should officers be subject to unfair criticism.

On this latter issue, he said: "I also think there's something about how they come out, and how they're supportive publicly...go challenge a narrative; their silence is taken as acquiescence."

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