The feminisation of the police force, with the problems that will result – as they always do, regardless of the profession – continues apace. A piece by Fariha Karim in yesterday’s Times:
The Metropolitan Police will become the first force to bring in part-time constables to tackle staff shortages.
Scotland Yard has said that from this November recruits will have the option of working either 16 hours a week for £13,000 or 24 hours a week for £18,200 as part of a flexible working approach designed to appeal to women.
The force is concerned at figures which show resignations increasing year-on-year for the past five years. A total of 638 officers quit in 2017-18 compared with 457 in 2013-14, with the rate of losses at 2.2 per cent, above the national average of 1.6 per cent.
Research by the Met suggested that potential recruits, mainly women, were put off by the long and antisocial working hours, [J4MB: This took “research” to establish?] although it added that both men and women were able to sign up for part-time roles. [J4MB emphasis]
About a third of joiners were women in 2017-18. Cressida Dick, the Met commissioner, wants half of London’s officers to be female. Despite being the largest force, the proportion of women is one of the lowest.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, last year allocated £5 million to the Met for a campaign to recruit extra officers. A forecast in December predicted that officer numbers could fall to 26,800 by 2022, the lowest level since 2002 and down from the most recent figure of 30,100.
The changes mean that recruits will be able to complete their training part-time, as well as take up other part-time roles. People signing up to work full-time as police constables can expect a starting salary of £30,372.
Ms Dick said: “We know that one of the obstacles stopping some people from fulfilling their dream of becoming a police officer has been the lack of flexibility in how they have to train and balance their family life. We will continue to break down barriers where we know they exist, as we strive to open up a career in policing with the Met to even more people.”
Susan Hall, a Conservative London Assembly member, said: “The Met have the budget for 31,000 police officers but have been unable to recruit enough to get near this number, and are currently 1,000 short. To address this the mayor announced £5 million to fund a recruitment campaign, but as with most of his policies, he got the headline and took ages to start work. It took six months for the campaign to start.”
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