A further 11 police officers are set to be recruited in County Durham and Darlington - but a police chief has warned it is not enough.

New government investment will help fund the new officers to ensure Durham Constabulary maintains its current headcount in 2024-25, bringing the total number of officers to 1,379. 

However, County Durham and Darlington Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Joy Allen said the force was still 128 short of 2010 levels and renewed her calls for an overhaul of the current funding formula and increased support for areas with high demand and greater pockets of deprivation.

PCC Allen said: “Any influx in police officers is good news for our communities. These additional 11 officers will make a vital difference to the neighbourhoods they are asked to serve, supporting existing officers to tackle high-impact crimes and meet demand pressures.

“However, Durham is still trailing behind when it comes to police strength through no fault of our own. Unlike many forces which have seen their headcount grow beyond 100 officers, we have more than 100 less than 2010 and it is already starting to show.”

The Northern Echo: Police and Crime Commissioner Joy AllenPolice and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen

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The force will receive a total of £48,000 per officer to cover salaries, training, and other associated recruitment costs. 

But the Commissioner warned that achieving the force’s main aims - cutting crime and keeping people safe - comes at a cost. Durham police has the joint lowest budget per recorded crime out of similar sized forces. 

“There is a limit to what can be realistically achieved when the odds are firmly stacked against us,” PCC Allen added. “While I am pleased at this small step in the right direction, I will make the point again that it is time for the Government to urgently rethink its current policy to remunerate police forces more fairly and restore our numbers to what they were before.”