Cuts Watch #95: Metropolitan Police recruitment
Yesterday, the Metropolitan Police Authority decided to cut costs by making the Metropolitan Special Constabulary “the principal point of recruitment for new police officer recruits.”
One of the reasons for this decision seems to be the cost of the 25 weeks it takes to train new PCs under the existing system. Forcing anyone who wants to be a Metropolitan Police officer serve time as a Special Constable will also help the Authority to hit its target of recruiting 10,000 Special Constables in time for the Olympics (at present, there are fewer than 3,000).
A fortnight ago, Nicola reported the rumours that the Metropolitan Police had been forced to rescind the recruitment of new officers, who had passed all the relevant recruitment processes. The BBC confirmed this on Monday, reporting that 1,200 candidates had been told that they has “no realistic prospect” of becoming officers in the near future.
The BBC also reports that the time Special Constables spend working free of charge will save £20,000 per recruit. The Independent quotes “senior Scotland Yard officers” as suggesting that the move will save the Met £12 million a year.
The irony is that, if the new procedure does succeed in increasing the number of Special Constables, many will probably be the same people who have just been turned down and who see this as the only way to achieve their ambition of joining the police service.