New policing minister on officer numbers and fire mergers during Herts force HQ visit

PUBLISHED: 11:30 31 July 2019

Kit Malthouse MP, new Policing Minister, at the Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden City while  Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector Simon Mason stand in the background. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin.

Kit Malthouse MP, new Policing Minister, at the Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden City while Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector Simon Mason stand in the background. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin.

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The new policing minister has said during a visit to Welwyn Garden City yesterday that combining fire and police services will be done on a "case-by-case basis" .

Left to Right: Mr Malthouse MP talking to PCSO Emma Carson. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin.Left to Right: Mr Malthouse MP talking to PCSO Emma Carson. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin.

MP Kit Malthouse - who was given the role by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson six days ago - has consistently voted in favour of merging police and fire services under police and crime commissioners, and said he is very passionate about the two services working more closely together.

There was no specifics given in terms of what this could mean for Hertfordshire or if previous plans to combine the county's fire and police services will be revived under the new government minister.

And while on his first visit to a police force at Hertfordshire's WGC HQ, Mr Malthouse highlighted Mr Johnson's pledge for an additional 20,000 new police officers to be recruited across three years.

"I will do all I can to give the police the resources and powers they need and this government has already committed to recruiting 20,000 new officers," said Mr Malthouse.

Kit Malthouse MP, new Policing Minister, talking to local officers in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin. 
Kit Malthouse MP, new Policing Minister, talking to local officers in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin.

Hertfordshire's Chief Constable Charlie Hall welcomed the news and said the force is looking to recruit more officers.

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"We had a wide-ranging discussion with the minister about the government's plans to recruit 20,000 more police officers nationally and what this means for Hertfordshire," said Ch Con Hall.

"Hertfordshire Constabulary is open for business. So if you want to join the police, now is a great time to do it.

Left to Right: Herts Police Commissioner David Lloyd George, PC James Tassell, Kit Malthouse MP and PC James Tassell. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin.Left to Right: Herts Police Commissioner David Lloyd George, PC James Tassell, Kit Malthouse MP and PC James Tassell. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin.

"We're particularly reaching out to members of our diverse community to come forward - we want you to apply to join we want to make our constabulary even more representative of our communities."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, emphasised that recruitment for more Herts officers was already under way.

"Although we have not seen the reduction in police numbers in Hertfordshire that some other forces have, we are pushing ahead with more officers," Mr Lloyd said.

"In fact, last week our latest new recruits started their training, taking police officer numbers above 2,000 for the first time in a number of years, which is worth celebrating."

If you're interested in a career in policing with Hertfordshire Constabulary, visit their recruitment page here.

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