Survey of new recruits reveals their thoughts on policing

Almost nine out of ten new recruits who signed up as part of  the Police Uplift Programme (PUP) say they want to stay in the service until they retire, a survey has found.

Ministers will be encouraged by the responses to the PUP New Recruits Onboarding Survey (2022) which showed a positive overall picture with high satisfaction rates and strong intentions to remain within policing.

Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair Gareth Jones welcomed the findings but said the Force would have to work hard to keep hold of the new recruits.

He said: “We backed the Police Uplift Programme but always stressed that recruitment was part of the equation and that making sure new officers stick with the job is just as important.

“So the Force will have to ensure our new recruits are properly looked after when it comes to pay and conditions and are encouraged to flourish in an environment in which hard work, dedication and self-sacrifice are recognised and respected.

“As a Police Federation, we will be here to offer them support and advice throughout their career and we would urge them to find out more about how we can help them, perhaps by speaking to their local workplace representatives.”

Almost nine out of ten PUP recruits want to stay in the police until they retire

The survey found more than eight in ten (82 per cent) new officers were satisfied with the role and 81 per cent were satisfied with the support they received from their line managers.

Almost seven in ten (69 per cent) said the role had met or exceeded their expectations while 86 per cent said they wanted to serve with the police until retirement.

The findings from the 2022 survey were less positive when compared to the 2021 survey which showed 90 per cent were satisfied with the role, 81 per cent were satisfied with the support received, 79 per cent felt the role met or exceeded expectations and 90 per cent intended to stay.

On officer wellbeing, around four in ten (40 per cent) new recruits report ignoring their personal life needs due to work strain and agreed that tension and stress from work was adversely affecting the rest of their life. This compares with a figure of 33 per cent from the 2021 survey.

The 2022 report found the experiences of new officers from minority ethnic backgrounds were not as positive as those of their white counterparts across a number of questions. 

It also noted the number of positive responses to questions generally decreased as length of service and officer age increased.

The Police Uplift Programme was launched in 2020 with the aim of taking on 20,000 additional officers by March 2023 although critics point out officer numbers will still be lower than 13 years ago when cuts began.

Policing and crime minister Chris Philp said: “Policing is a career like no other and I am proud that so many thousands of people in England and Wales want to put themselves forward to protect their communities from danger - in a challenging, essential and rewarding job.

“In a matter of months, when this once-in-a-generation recruitment drive is complete and we have a record number of officers across England and Wales, our police forces will be more representative than ever of the communities they serve.

“The overwhelming majority of new recruits recently surveyed report positive job satisfaction and want to remain officers for the rest of their working lives, and compared to other public sectors, voluntary resignations in policing remain low at 2.5 per cent.”