Matthew Scott has delivered on his promise to substantially increase the number of police officers in Kent.
On 13 March the Police and Crime Commissioner watched the latest Passing Out Parade at Kent Police College in Maidstone. The event marked the end of initial training for 95 student constables who joined Kent Police in October.
Later this month the next intake of more than 100 officers will also begin their training at the College, taking the total number of full-time equivalent police officers within Kent Police to 3,732. That figure is 550 higher than the 3,182 Mr Scott inherited when he was elected PCC in spring 2016.
Mr Scott said:
‘I wish the latest recruits all the best for their future careers. I also want to thank Kent Police’s recruitment team, and the trainers at the College, for working so hard this year to get a good calibre of candidates through the doors and for preparing them for service with the force.
‘Raising council tax is not a decision I take lightly. But throughout my four years in office I heard time and again from residents and local businesses that they wanted more police officers to be more visible in their communities and I responded accordingly.’
Mr Scott, who will serve an additional year as Kent’s PCC to May 2021 after the Government announced plans to postpone the next PCC elections, added:
‘All these extra police officers are starting to have a real positive impact. Rural policing, roads policing and town centres have all benefitted. The Chief Constable’s Crime Squad is bringing serious offenders to justice.
‘Crime types like burglary and violence with injury are down.
‘I am delighted to be able to say that we have delivered what we promised last year in terms of increasing police officer numbers, but the recruitment drive continues. Additional investment this year is enabling the force to recruit even more police officers, plus more Police Community Support Officers to proactively engage with local communities.’