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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 14:17 GMT
Force boasts 4,000 officers
Police chiefs in the Thames Valley are celebrating after the number of officers topped the 4,000 mark.

But they admit that still leaves them with one of the lowest numbers of police officers per head of population in the country.

With 50 new recruits signing up at the force training school, the number of officers serving in the region comes to 4,036.

That comes despite concerns that many recruits are being attracted away from the force to the Metropolitan police by increased pay and London weighting.

'Considerable challenge'

Chief Constable Peter Neyroud said: "This is a great success in our constant battle to both retain and recruit staff.

"Recruiting in the South East is a considerable challenge when you consider the competition from the private sector and our colleagues in the Met who can offer 6,000 extra pay and free travel.

"Although we still have one of the lowest numbers of police officers per head of population, this is a very positive step in the right direction."

Earlier in December, David Rendel, Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury, Berkshire, called in the House of Commons for Thames Valley Police to be compensated for losing so many officers to neighbouring forces.

New funds for special police
10 Dec 03  |  Oxfordshire
MP calls for police compensation
09 Dec 03  |  Berkshire

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