New Prime Minister Boris Johnson met some of the force’s newest recruits and joined bobbies on the beat during a visit to the West Midlands this afternoon (Friday 26 July).
Mr Johnson headed to the region to see West Midlands Police in action and meet with cops including Chief Constable Dave Thompson.
During his time with WMP he joined the new Home Secretary Priti Patel and neighbourhood officers on patrol in Harborne High Street.
The PM later met and spoke with the Chief Constable at Tally Ho! then chatted with officers who were today graduating from the force’s intensive training programme.
It comes as Mr Johnson has vowed to recruit 20,000 new officers across England and Wales within the next three years.
The welcome boost comes as the force is stretched at present due to a high demand for service, it being a critical phase in the change programme as new technology is rolled and the build-up of Commonwealth Games staff and Project Guardian creating some gaps.
Work is taking place now to bridge these promptly with an injection of extra Police Staff Investigators and PCSOs maybe helping plug gaps quickly and enable the force to balance police officer numbers over a slightly longer period. The force is also already in the process of recruiting student police officers.
The Chief said: "Today the Prime Minister and Home Secretary announced here in the West Midlands the growth of 20,000 police officers nationwide.
"I am energised and excited about the prospect of such a transformational investment in policing.
"For a considerable time I have said that the service is under significant stretch and I am pleased decisive action is being taken. This is vital for the protection of the public and to remove the pressure our police officers and staff are under. I am delighted the Prime Minister and Home Secretary chose our force to talk about their ambition.
"West Midlands Police lost 24% of its budget since 2010, that is 2,000 officers, the second highest cut in policing. We deal with more threat and more demand than any force outside London and are funded below the national average level and behind all the major cities. This should now change. As part of the return of the lost 20,000 posts I would expect the West Midlands allocation to reflect this.
"Recruiting this volume of staff will be a huge challenge, but that’s what we do every day in policing. The public and our officers need this surge in numbers and we will deliver it.
"The financial challenges have made us leaner. We have and are replacing our technology with cutting edge systems. As a result extra staffing will go directly into preventing crime and protecting the public. Additional officers will help improve the speed of our response and our subsequent investigation. The bulk will go into visible pro-active policing to take on robbers, burglars, drug dealers and gangs as well as modern crime fighting teams to deal with technologically capable and organised crime."
Find out how to join the force by visiting our dedicated jobs website.