Police forces have hired nearly 9,000 officers under the Government’s drive to recruit 20,000 by 2023, according to official figures.
Home Office statistics released on Thursday said an overall provisional headcount stood at 137,704 in England and Wales as of March 31.
That includes 8,771 officers hired as part of pledge to hit 20,000 by March 2023, according to a quarterly report on the progress of the scheme.
There have been some 139,312 applications to become an officer since the campaign was launched in October 2019.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was “delighted” by the progress, arguing it “surpassed expectations”, as the Conservative Party welcomed the announcement.
Boris Johnson said: “In just one year, we have hired an extra 9,000 police officers, smashing our first-year target and putting us well on track to recruit the 20,000 new officers we promised.”
The Prime Minister will hope the progress on the law and order drive will be a positive talking point in the campaign for the May 6 election as he faces continued negative press.
On Wednesday, the Electoral Commission announced it was launching a formal investigation into the refurbishment to his Downing Street flat, saying there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect an offence.