A FEW weeks ago, Essex Police published a press release proudly announced a new raft of officers passing out from their Chelmsford Headquarters.
They welcomed a further 58 new officers into the force taking the total number who have passed out since the first lockdown in March 2020 to 451 – that equates to just under one new officer per day said Essex Police.
This was of course very welcome.
Our immediate question was to ask them, how many officers had left the job in that period?
They duly asked us to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which we did.
Twenty working days later, here is the answer
Between the dates 01/03/2020 and 31/07/2021 there have been 282 Officers that have left the force. This includes all leaving reasons e.g. retirement, resignation, transfers to other forces etc.
This leaves a net figure of 169.
We asked the leader fo the Harlow Labour group, cllr Chris Vince who was also the Essex Police Crime Commissioner candidate, what he thought of the figures.
Cllr Vince said: “Although I welcome the news of new police recruits in Essex this only tells half the story.
“In the same period 282 police officers have left the force. This means that there are still less officers across our county than there were in 2010 when the Conservatives came to power.
Now some of those losses will be due to retirement but a number will be down to resignation.
My concern is that experienced officers have felt the burden of a decade of police cuts, having to cover more roles and having their rest days covered at short notice, and are becoming burnt out.
“I worry for our new recruits.
“Essex Police and the PFCC office need to focus on officer welfare and ensure all officers feel supported to do their jobs effectively.”
YH plans to speak to the Essex Police Federation to gauge their reaction.