A NATIONAL campaign to recruit 20,000 police officers was launched last week, but Gwent's police and crime commissioner said employing more officers alone would not be enough to tackle the challenges facing forces.

Jeff Cuthbert called for a "holistic approach" to investment in policing, with funds spread across the justice system.

“I welcome the use of centralised funding from the government to fund these new policing posts, rather than the cost burden being placed on council taxpayers," Mr Cuthbert said regarding the UK government's recruitment drive, named Operation Uplift.

“However, we need to ensure there is continued sustainable investment from UK Government; not only in policing, but the wider criminal justice system too."

Mr Cuthbert said Gwent Police's budget had been reduced in real terms by 40 per cent since the UK government, led by David Cameron, introduced austerity programmes in 2010/11.


In this first wave of Operation Uplift, which began on Friday, the government aims to recruit up to 6,000 officers nationwide, and will commit £750 million to fund the recruitment campaign.

The remaining 14,000 are to be recruited in the following two years, and will be additional to officers hired to fill existing vacancies.

Operation Uplift was one of the first major policies announced by prime minister Boris Johnson, who said at its launch last Thursday: "In my view, policing and safe streets [are] the absolute bedrock of society [and] what drives a successful and productive economy."

READ MORE: Boris Johnson sets out plan to recruit 20,000 police officers

But Mr Cuthbert said recruiting more police officers alone "will not be enough to tackle the challenges we face today".

"A holistic approach needs to be implemented, with investment in all aspects of the system from diversionary activities, force control rooms and custody staff, to greater resources being committed to the Crown Prosecution Service, courts, victim services and the management of offenders," he added.

Gwent Police launched its own recruitment drive last Monday, days before the prime minister's Operation Uplift announcement.

“Policing is an exciting career, with excellent opportunities and a chance to make a difference for communities served," Mr Cuthbert said. "I’d encourage anyone interested in working for the police to visit Gwent Police’s website and find out more about the vital work the police undertake to protect and reassure the public in Gwent each and every day.”