Housing minister Malthouse takes charge of policing

26 Jul 19

Kit Malthouse has been appointed policing minister as the government embarks on an officer recruitment drive following Boris Johnson’s pledge in his first speech as prime minister.

Malthouse will leave his post as housing minister to be in charge of delivering Johnson’s pledge of 20,000 new police officers.

The new prime minister used his first speech outside No 10 to make the commitment to increase police numbers and today reaffirmed this pledge for an “unprecedented [recruitment] drive”.

Johnson said: “People want to see more officers in their neighbourhoods, protecting the public and cutting crime.

“I promised 20,000 extra officers and that recruitment will now start in earnest.”

But Malthouse told LBC this morning that the recruitment process will start in September and will last for three years and cost £500m in the first year.

He suggested that the average cost of recruiting was around £47,000 per officer.

Malthouse suggested it would “take a little bit of time” for the new recruits to get going but said he hoped they would be ready “in the early part of next year”.

Home secretary Priti Patel said: “The rise we’ve seen in serious violence is deeply worrying. An additional 20,000 officers sends a clear message that we are committed to giving the police the resources they need to tackle the scourge of crime.”

Chair of the Police Federation John Apter said that the announcement of 20,000 more officers was a “small step” in the right direction.

“In addition to recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers, government need to ensure the police services has increased funding through the comprehensive Spending Review to be able to deal with new, as well as existing, challenges.”

Esther McVey, former work and pensions secretary, will take over Malthouse’s post as housing minister at MHCLG following this week’s cabinet reshuffle.

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