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The Somerset Guardian, 10th August 2022

As readers may recall, one of the pledges made in the 2019 Conservative manifesto was to recruit 20,000 more police officers by March 2023. I am pleased to report that figures released last month show that the Government is on track to fulfil this commitment, with 69 per cent of the target now met.

Across the 43 police forces in England and Wales, an additional 13,790 officers have been recruited, bringing the total number to 142,759.  In Avon and Somerset, 318 additional officers have been recruited, where they are already having an impact in tackling crime and keeping communities safe.

In the past year, police in England and Wales have removed 16,000 dangerous weapons from our streets through stop and search, disrupted over 600 organised crime groups, and made over 8,000 arrests as a result of a national crackdown on County Lines drug dealing.

The 13,790 extra officers will also support the Conservative Government’s crackdown on crime, which has seen the launch of the Beating Crime Plan and the passing of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act.

The Beating Crime Plan will see more funding for school-based interventions methods, increased tagging to reduce repeat and substance-fuelled offences, and will ensure that offenders give back to their communities through unpaid work.

The new Police Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act gives the police the resources they need to crack down on crime, including additional powers to tackle disruptive protests, increased sentences for the most dangerous offenders, and additional protections for women and girls.

Our first duty as a Government is to keep our country safe so I am delighted to be able to report the excellent progress that is being made in this area.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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