HC Deb 03 March 1983 vol 38 cc187-8W
Mr. St. John-Stevas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will increase recruitment to the police.

Mr. Whitelaw

Since May 1979, the establishment of the police service in England and Wales has been increased by 2,485 and its strength by 9,400. Forces remain at or very close to their authorised establishment. Force establishments are kept under review by chief officers, police authorities and Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary. Police authorities are responsible for fixing the authorised establishment of forces, subject to my approval. I shall consider carefully any requests for my approval to increases in establishment for 1983–84, but I shall have to be satisfied that existing manpower is being used as effectively as possible to meet current priorities.