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Police leaving, not staying

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New recruits join the police with the intention of staying for life, but after five years most do not still see it that way, the Police Federation of England and Wales heard during its two-day annual conference, at the Birmingham International Convention Centre (ICC).

More than 100 delegates attended a session by Dave Bamber, Interim National Board Member, and Dr Fran Boag-Munroe, Police Federation Research Practitioner, delivered findings of a study by the Federation. Dr Boag-Munroe said: “The majority of new recruits do join with the intention of staying until retirement age. The fact that after five years only 38 per cent of them still see themselves staying for that long must mean that their experiences in those five years lead them to think otherwise.”

Reasons for leaving included physical and mental health, low morale and the impact the job has on family and personal life. Dr Boag-Munroe added: “Recruiting officers is one thing, keeping them is another and if officers are not being supported to achieve what they want within their career, this could impact on retention.”

In his speech to the event, the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, made much of his brother being a career and senior policeman. Since becoming the new Home Secretary after the resignation of Amber Rudd, he said he had spoken to frontline officers about their experiences of crime and policing.

He said: “You’ve told me that you feel stretched, overburdened and not sufficiently rewarded. I know how frustrating it is when your days off get cancelled – at very short notice. And I know your work can take its toll on your mental and physical health. You deserve to be respected and valued, but all too often what you get is abuse.”

He said he would will prioritise police funding in the Spending Review next year; and that he wanted ‘to totally transform the welfare provision for officers’, giving the example of the Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill, going through Parliament.


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