Police Officers Quitting The Job At Record Rates

A record number of police officers voluntarily resigned from Hampshire Constabulary last year, new figures have shown.

Home Office figures show 129 full-time police officers voluntarily left the force in the year to March. It is up from 94 the year before and the highest number since records began in 2006-07. Nationally, 9,200 officers handed in their warrant cards, amid a pay and morale crisis.

Zoë Wakefield, Federation Chair, said: “There are multiple reasons why officers are leaving. Pay is one reason. Our pay has gone up very little over the last 10-12 years. We are still way behind basic inflationary pay rises, so we’ve seen real terms pay cuts.

“And I think the way that the police are portrayed in the media has had an effect. It is just every negative story and very few positive stories are ever posted. That constant negativity gets people down and it really affects people’s mentality.

“Unfortunately a lot of the general public believe what they read in the papers and online. But the vast, vast majority of police officers are really good people, really hard working, and really want to do their best for the public. But that is another factor meaning people don’t want to stay in the job.”

She also blamed a lack of resources, with officers working to capacity with unsustainable workloads. “It’s just got all too much for a lot of people and they’ve realised they have a lot of skills that make them employable outside of the police. A lot of other companies are looking for the personal attributes that people have, and if you’ve got that honesty and integrity, you’re hard working, and you are reliable with good communication skills – they can then teach you everything else they need to teach you.”

Nationally, new data shows that 9,192 officers quit 43 forces in England and Wales in the 12 months to March – the most in a financial year since comparable records began.

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