We have made available £454 million for this financial year and for the next three years to bring police numbers to their highest ever level by 2003–04. To back that, the first ever national police recruitment advertising campaign was launched in the summer. I am pleased to tell the House that those measures are already proving successful. Police numbers at the end of September last year were 444 higher than in March 2000, reversing the decline that began in 1993. Recruitment continues at a high level.
Between March and September 2000, 84 new officers were recruited in Devon and Cornwall, increasing total officer strength by 32. Funds for 235 extra recruits have been allocated to the constabulary for the period 2000–01 to 2002–03.
To deal with specific recruitment problems in the London area, the pay of all post-1994 officers in the Metropolitan police was increased by more than £3,300 a year from July last year. An offer to increase the pay to home counties officers working within a 30-mile and 40-mile radius of Charing Cross by £2,000 and £1,000 a year respectively has been made by the employers.