New Recruits Quitting While Still In Probation

AROUND 35% of officers recruited into Hampshire Police during the Government uplift left while they were still in their probationary period, the Federation has said.

Meanwhile new figures show that, nationally, over 2,000 new police recruits left during their probation period, either because they were dismissed or chose to leave.

Such a rapid uplift, combined with people leaving the force, has led to issues on the frontline, said Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield.

Zoë said: “In Hampshire, we’ve increased our police numbers by 650, but we originally recruited over 1,000. So obviously some of those new recruits left because it just wasn’t for them.

“I think that, particularly at the beginning, during Covid, nobody else was recruiting, so a lot of people thought, ‘Well, I’ll give it a go’. And later they realised it wasn’t for them.”

Over a third of the policing workforce now has fewer than three years’ service, Zoë added.

She said: “There’s huge implications with that, considering the protected learning time for their degree. Hampshire Police has announced that people can come off their degree programme, so that’s going to alleviate some of that pressure.

“But it’s also the lack of experience and that nearly all of those officers are on the frontline or working in our investigations teams. They are being thrown into either complex situations on the street or tough investigations, and they just don’t have the knowledge and the experience to deal with them.

“It’s really difficult for them and it’s really difficult for supervisors because, particularly on some of the response teams, there are so few officers with experience that you can’t keep putting them on all the time. And for a lot of these young-in-service officers, the person they can go to for advice is also a young-in-service officer.”

Zoë said that everything naturally took longer with less experienced officers. She said: “If they’re being tutored, the tutor is going through everything with them. But even after that, when they’re independent, things take them longer because they’re still learning. And that means that they deal with fewer jobs in a day.”

But Zoë added: “We must remember that, each year, all those officers are going to get more experienced and it’s going to get better. The issue isn’t all the people that we’ve recruited now, it’s the fact that

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