Government needs to find solutions to the officer retention crisis

Dyfed Powys Police Federation is urging the Government to seek urgent solutions to the officer retention crisis which is sweeping the service.

Home Office figures show record numbers of officers are leaving the service with disillusionment over pay and conditions cited as the main reason for the unprecedented levels of people quitting their jobs.

But branch wellbeing lead Dai Gaskins said poor morale among officers was also playing a major part in people’s decisions to leave.

He said: “Police officers are a resilient bunch but many of our members are feeling worn down by years of low pay rises, an ever increasing workload and unfair criticism from the media and some politicians.



“We recognise that recent scandals have knocked public confidence in the police but the vast majority of officers have honesty and integrity and are appalled when they hear about wrongdoing by fellow officers.

“The constant pressure has had a massive impact on many of our members and some have just decided enough’s enough.

“And if nothing is done about the number of people leaving the service, policing is going to find itself in a deepening crisis which will be hard to get out of.”

Dai said the Government should focus on a long-term recruitment and retention strategy instead of relying on quick fixes such as the Police Uplift Programme.

“The recent recruitment drive might have bumped up officer numbers to previous levels but that’s all a bit pointless if just as many are leaving the Force,” he said.

“If we are not careful this boom-and-boost approach to recruitment will become the norm and could destabilise the whole police service.”

Resigning voluntarily

Home Office figures revealed more than 9,000 officers left the English and Welsh forces between April 2022 and March 2023 with a total of 4,668 officers resigning voluntarily.

This is the highest number since comparable records began 16 years ago and shows a 32 per cent increase on the 3,533 who resigned from the service in 2021/22.

Dyfed Powys Police lost 23 officers through voluntary resignation in the 12 months to last March, the figures show.

A further seven retired on medical grounds during the same period and 42 officers took normal retirement.

Eight officers transferred to other forces while one was dismissed, taking the total number of departures for the year to 81.

“The Government ought to take these figures seriously and do something to end this trend,” said Dai.

“Too many experienced officers are deciding to look elsewhere and in the end everyone suffers - the police service, our members and the communities they serve.”

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