by matt bunn
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
THE number of police officers working in Suffolk under the age of 26 has halved in two years, new figures reveal.
The drop, from 54 in 2009/10 to 27 in 2011/12, is on par with other forces in the country, according to results from a Freedom of Information request.
And it follows an overall drop of five per cent in the number of police officers working in the county – from 1,277 in 2009/10, to 1,209 in 2011/12.
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “There has been some modest recruitment to the constabulary recently and this does obviously help to lower the age range.
“However it is important to highlight that many of our recruits come into the force as former PCSOs and Specials, which may naturally mean they are slightly older, although they come with experience, which is a huge benefit.”
The Freedom of Information request was sent to every police force in the country.
Nationally the sharpest falls in police officers under 26 were seen in North Wales, Cleveland and Staffordshire. The only areas where a rise was seen was in Surrey and the City of London.
Mr Passmore has pledged to look at all the needs of the force in Suffolk, which includes the profile of future recruits.
“Part of my role as PCC is to make sure the constabulary reflects the community it serves and I’m working with the chief constable to ensure that our recruitment process acknowledges this.
“A regular influx of younger officers is important and I will be discussing this with the chief constable over the coming months as we devise our long-term plan for the constabulary for the next five to six years.”
Elsewhere in the region, there was a drop of 50pc in police officers under 26 in Essex.
The number fell from 519 officers under the age of 26 in 2009-10, to 258 in 2011-12, according to the figures.