25 January 2023
"The latest police uplift figures released today by Government tell a tale of two halves. There are now more officers who identify as being from an ethnic minority than any time in history, and we now have the highest number of female officers in forces across England and Wales.
"However, the uplift programme currently sits at 16,700 out of the 20,000 promised by the Government and with two months to go until the end of the target period, it seems unlikely the promised numbers will be reached, despite the positive rhetoric from Government.
"While the uplift programme aim to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers was welcome, it should not be overlooked that it was the Government who cut the number of officers in the first place.
"Only 1,420 officers have joined over the last three months, equating to just under 475 joiners each month, some 15 officers a day. Whilst these numbers should be encouraging, they do not take into account the real picture. At present, as many as nine police officers a day are submitting transfer requests to move to the other side of the world. This also doesn’t include the number of officers retiring or leaving the service each day.
"Latest figures indicate 8,117 police officers left the service in England and Wales in the year ending March 2022 – the highest number of leavers since comparable records began, and at least 1,800 of those officers who joined under the Government Uplift Programme have already voluntarily resigned.
"If the 20,000 target is achieved, it would bring officer numbers up to around 148,000, which is almost on par with the number of officers in 2010. The reality is there is a need for an uplift of at least 50,000 officers to match 2010 levels if you consider population growth of more than 3.5 million over the last decade, and the annual attrition of approximately 6,000 officers per year.
"If the trends in resignation and retirement rates continue into 2023, it is anticipated that resignations will replace retirements as the greatest contributor to overall attrition.
"The Police Federation of England and Wales is concerned that the uplift programme does not go far enough to help keep the public safe. Police officers work tirelessly to fulfil their duty to protect the public and uphold the law. In return, all they want is fair treatment, consistent welfare support and pay proportionate to prevailing economic conditions and the dangers they face as part of the job.
"We urge the Government to show they support and value police officers through their actions. Ignoring the current crisis in policing will have dire consequences to both the profession and the safety and wellbeing of the public. The smoke and mirrors statements must stop and decisions must start to be made based on reality and facts."