MORE than 200 police officers have been recruited in the county as part of the government’s pledge to put more officers on the streets.

Newly released figures show than 257 police officers have been recruited in Sussex since the recruitment drive launched in 2019.

There are now 3,006 police officers in the county according to government figures.

The Argus: Henry Smith, MP for CrawleyHenry Smith, MP for Crawley

Henry Smith, MP for Crawley said the government is on track to fulfil its manifesto pledge to put 20,000 more officers on the streets by March 2023.

He said: “From working with our local police force, I know just how valuable more police officers will be in helping crackdown on crime in our local community.

“The 257 additional recruits mean there are now more than 3,000 police officers in Sussex, helping to pursue criminals, keep neighbourhoods safe, and reassure the law-abiding majority.

The Argus: Home Secretary Priti Patel Home Secretary Priti Patel

“In Parliament, I’ll continue to support this Government’s important work to keep people safe and deliver on the priorities of the British people.”

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said putting extra officers will help to cut crime and keep communities safe.

She said: “These extra officers are getting out on the streets helping to cut crime and protect communities up and down the country – and they are reflecting the communities they serve better than ever before, with the highest ever proportion of female officers and officers from diverse backgrounds out there making a difference.

“Our Beating Crime Plan will give these officers the powers they need to stop crimes happening, support victims and keep serious offenders in prison for longer – keeping the streets safer for all.”

Last month, The National Audit Office (NAO) said that while the Government was on track to meet its target for recruiting more officers, the wider justice system was “struggling to recover” from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Home Office expects to spend £3.6 billion on the recruitment programme up to March 2023, and for the programme to cost a total of £18.5 billion over the next ten years, according to the NAO report.