Police Recruits 'Could Be Unpaid'

In a bid to save money, the Metropolitan Police Authority are considering whether potential police officers should work as unpaid volunteers for 18 months before employment.

Regardless of previous qualifications and experience, police recruits currently receive 25 weeks of training, earning £23,000 during their first two years.

The new model would see most trainees working 16 hours a month as volunteers, for a period of 18 months. The move could save the police force up to £20m a year.

Last year, the Met recruited 2,000 new officers, taking its total to 31,000.

However, due to ongoing financial strain, many potential officers have been turned away.

Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, Peter Smyth, voiced concerns that the new recruitment policy could mean fewer women and police officers from ethnic minorities.

Commenting to Sky, he said: "Women who have a job and a family were unlikely to have the time to volunteer.

"However, we now know that there is a high percentage of both groups in the Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) so that lessens concerns."

Another concern had been that recruitment would only come from the PCSO, however the Police Federation has been informed there will also be graduate recruitment, former forces' personnel and people with legal backgrounds.

"We recognise that in this time of financial constraint, there is a need to try to find some way of saving money. Obviously, in times of higher employment, it might not be so effective.

"For the present, our attitude is: Give it a try and see how it works."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 November 2014
Release Of Police Killer Described As 'Sickening'
The release of a man convicted of killing three unarmed police officers in 1966 has been described as "sickening". Harry Roberts, now aged 78, has been released from prison after serving 48 years for 1966 murders of three unarmed police officers in Shepherd's Bush in west London.
05 October 2006
Review launched following Israeli embassy police row
Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair has ordered an inquiry after a Muslim police officer was excused from guarding the Israeli embassy in London.
01 October 2004
International police force 'must' be sent to Darfur
An international police presence is needed in Sudan's troubled Darfur region to ensure its vast population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are protected, two senior United Nations human rights officials told the Security Council today.
14 May 2003
UK sends policing advisors to assist in Iraq
Policing experts are traveling to Iraq today to advise on the stabilisation of the security situation and to participate in a review on how to rebuild the Iraqi police service. The team of four will be led by Chief Constable of Hampshire - and Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) international portfolio holder - Paul Kernaghan.
16 May 2006
Survey reveals threat faced by police
Around 7,000 police officers have been threatened with a gun and 40,000 police officers have been threatened with a knife while on duty in the past two years, a survey has revealed.