Rookie crumbles: Over 2,000 would-be police officers recruited to boost numbers have left during probation
- At least 2,012 trainees did not complete their probation, were fired or resigned
- They were being trained as part of a Government pledge to hire 20,000 officers
Thousands of trainee officers recruited to boost police numbers left during their probation period, according to recent figures.
At least 2,012 trainees did not complete their probation, were fired or resigned, with some dismissed as unfit.
It comes after former chief inspector of constabulary Sir Thomas Windsor warned the ‘sheer magnitude and speed’ of the Government’s recruitment campaign risked hiring people ‘unsuited’ to policing.
The officers were being trained as part of a 2019 Government pledge to recruit an extra 20,000 police officers throughout England and Wales by March this year.
In Liverpool, a trainee was lost because he could not work handcuffs and had ‘difficulty understanding the Merseyside accent’, according to the Sun.
At least 2,012 trainees did not complete their probation, were fired or resigned, with some dismissed as unfit
But the Home Office has insisted all recruits are subject to a ‘rigorous’ vetting process and must meet national standards in order to be hired.
The department was set to spend £3.6billion on the recruitment programme by March this year, with a total cost of £18.5billion over the next 10 years, according to Whitehall’s spending watchdog.
In June, the National Audit Office (NAO) warned the recruitment campaign would ‘exacerbate pressure’ on a criminal justice system which is ‘already under strain’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
It also said hiring police community support officers (PCSOs), special constables or police staff to fill the roles could lead to vacancies elsewhere in the service.
An officer’s probation can last two or three years depending on their route into the force.
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