§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there has been an increase in the police establishments and the special constables during the past year commensurate with the increase in crime over that period; and whether he will initiate a campaign to increase the numbers of special constables.
§ Mr. Mayhew
During 1981, the establishment of the police service in England and Wales was increased by 1,092 posts and its strength by 2,152; at the end of December 1981, its strength was 119,575 the highest ever and over 8,000 more than in April 1979. The full benefit of these increases will be felt as new young officers are trained and gain experience.
The strength of the special constabulary has not increased over the past year, but remains about 15,000. A working party set up by the police advisory board concluded that recruitment campaigns were best conducted locally, but my right hon. Friend will continue to give forces his full support in their efforts to attract more volunteers.