We’re Not Seeing The Impact Of Uplift

THE Government has been talking a lot about hitting its recruitment target of 20,000 new officers, but Hampshire Police Federation said it will be years before it has an impact, and that more recruitment is needed.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said: “It’s good news that we’ve hit the targets, but we’ve still got fewer officers than we had in 2010.

“In Hampshire, we have recruited something like 1,200 officers in order to increase our target by 600. So that’s a huge number of officers who have come through the door, but a third of the organisation has now got less than three years’ service.

“So even though it’s good news, people aren’t noticing the difference of having more officers on their shifts, because all the student officers are doing their degree, they have time away to do courses, training, and they’re all very inexperienced.”

Zoë continued: “I think it’s going to be years before we actually see the impact of it. We’re not even at the numbers we were at in 2010 and we lose around 25 officers a month through resignations and retirements. We’re recruiting around 48 every other month. The problem is that we’re gaining very enthusiastic but inexperienced people, and we’re losing the experience out the other side.

“We also have a lot of supervisors now who are inexperienced. Sometimes it’s difficult to go to the right person and get the right advice, because everybody around you is also inexperienced.

“We’ve got to keep recruiting, otherwise our numbers are going to start dropping. But we also need to try to retain some of our more experienced officers, and a big factor in that is pay. If people are paid fairly, they’re not going to be leaving for better-paid jobs elsewhere.”

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