Keeping people safe is the first job of any government.
That's why back in our 2019 manifesto we pledged to put 20,000 more police officers on our streets by March 2023 - a target we were determined to hit.
I'm delighted that the figures announced today show that we've smashed that target, with nearly 21,000 new officers delivered though the Police Officer Uplift. Here in Kent we've actually exceeded our quota, with over 4,200 officers now on the beat locally. That's an increase of more than 1,000 since our Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott took over in 2016.
That means that both nationally in Kent we've got more police that at any point in our history, and that's resulted in some really encouraging crime data.
Crime has fallen in England and Wales by 50% since 2010 (excluding fraud and computer misuse), and since March 2020 theft has reduced by 20%, homicides and knife crime by 8% and domestic burglary by 30%.
Here in Kent we've got crime down 13% in the last four years, with residential burglary down 45% and vehicle crime down 25%.
These figures should move even further in the right direction once all these new officers are fully settled in and down to work.
People deserve to feel safe where they live, and these new officers are a huge boost for our neighbourhoods.