4 January 2023
Today the Prime Minister outlined his pledge to the nation with five promises. He also confirmed the uplift programme target of 20,000 extra police officers will patrol the streets by this spring.
National Chair Steve Hartshorn said: “The target of the uplift programme is admirable but unfortunately this statement is misleading and fails to recognise reality.
“We understand that nine police officers a day are submitting requests to transfer to a police force on the other side of the world. In addition to this, more than 1,800 police officers recruited under the 20,000 new officers pledge have already quit.
“Record numbers are resigning over inadequate pay and conditions. We are losing some exceptional officers simply because they cannot afford to stay in the service. The reality is the real number of officers needed to be counted as “additional” is in fact nearer 50,000 due to attrition rates and leavers.
“The latest figures indicate 8,117 (FTE) police officers left the service in England and Wales in the year ending March 2022 – the highest number of leavers since comparable records began. It is misleading to look singularly at recruitment figures with no consideration of attrition rates.
“The soundbite of 20,000 officers is damaging to the police service. Hitting an arbitrary target of recruitment as quickly as possible does nothing to help the public feel trust in their police service. We have already seen the tragic instances of inadequate vetting over the last few years.
“Ultimately, when the true figures are reviewed, the promises make for disappointing reading. The Government must start to acknowledge the reality of the situation, soundbites do not help our officers or protect the public.”