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Police recruitment frozen for second year

THE NUMBER of police officers in England and Wales is to be frozen for the second year running, the Home Office revealed last night, writes Terry Kirby.

The decision was immediately criticised by Tony Blair, shadow Home Secretary, as making a mockery of the Government's claim to be taking law and order issues seriously.

In a letter to chief constables and police authorities, the Home Office said because of public expenditure restraints, there was 'no scope' to agree to additions to establishments. The 4 per cent increase in police spending disclosed in the Budget last week is only designed to cover increases in next year's pay.

The 43 forces in England and Wales had asked for a total of 2,525 extra officers in 1994-95 on top of the existing figure of 126,941; three forces: City of London, Hertfordshire and Surrey did not seek any increases.