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Gwent Police Federation

Nine out of ten new recruits plan to spend careers in policing

15 February 2023

Almost nine out of ten new officers recruited under the Police Uplift Programme (PUP) intend to stay in the service until they retire, a survey has found.

The PUP New Recruits Onboarding Survey (2022) painted a positive overall picture with high satisfaction rates and strong intentions to remain within policing.

The findings were welcomed by Gwent Police Federation chair Matthew Candy who said the Force must now work hard to hold on to its new officers.

He said: “We are looking forward to working with the new recruits and as a Police Federation will be here to support them throughout their careers.

“It is important that they are made to feel wanted and valued and that Gwent Police is an attractive place to work so I would urge the Force to make sure these things happen.

“We all know that policing is tough and challenging work and that as police officers we are not always appreciated for the risks we take and the sacrifices we make but it can be a great career.”

The PUP survey found more than eight in ten (82 per cent) new officers were satisfied with the role and 81 per cent were satisfied with the support they received from their line managers.

Almost seven in ten (69 per cent) said the role had met or exceeded their expectations while 86 per cent said they wanted to serve with the police until retirement.

The findings from the 2022 survey were less positive when compared to the 2021 survey which showed 90 per cent were satisfied with the role, 81 per cent were satisfied with the support received, 79 per cent felt the role met or exceeded expectations and 90 per cent intended to stay.

On officer wellbeing, around four in ten (40 per cent) new recruits report ignoring their personal life needs due to work strain and agreed that tension and stress from work was adversely affecting the rest of their life. This compares with a figure of 33 per cent from the 2021 survey.

The 2022 report found the experiences of new officers from minority ethnic backgrounds were not as positive as those of their white counterparts across a number of questions.

It also noted the number of positive responses to questions generally decreased as length of service and officer age increased.

The Police Uplift Programme was launched in 2020 with the aim of taking on 20,000 additional officers by March 2023 although critics point out officer numbers will still be lower than 13 years ago when cuts began.

Policing and crime minister Chris Philp said: “Policing is a career like no other and I am proud that so many thousands of people in England and Wales want to put themselves forward to protect their communities from danger - in a challenging, essential and rewarding job.

“In a matter of months, when this once-in-a-generation recruitment drive is complete and we have a record number of officers across England and Wales, our police forces will be more representative than ever of the communities they serve.

“The overwhelming majority of new recruits recently surveyed report positive job satisfaction and want to remain officers for the rest of their working lives, and compared to other public sectors, voluntary resignations in policing remain low at 2.5 per cent.”

Read the PUP New Recruits Onboarding Survey (2022).