Met HR chief apologises after rescinding police officer applications

‘The Metropolitan Police’s HR chief has apologised after large numbers of prospective police officers who successfully passed its recruitment stages had their applications rescinded.

Around 1,800 candidates – of which 1,200 are external – have been told that there are no vacancies at the moment due to the “economic conditions”. The Met said that 1,100 had already passed the whole recruitment process.

On successful completion of each part of the two-day recruitment process – including a mark of 60% or above for the National Recruiting Standards test – candidates are then notified by post and given a start date to attend the first day of training at Hendon Police College, the Met’s principal training centre for London.

But candidates have now been told that all of the applications are going to be rescinded, and there would be no start dates for at least two years.

One of the candidates told the BBC he was “angry and disappointed” with the decision. “When they do start to recruit again, none of our pass results are going to be taken into consideration and we have to start again from scratch.”

Speaking to Personnel Today, Metropolitan Police HR director Martin Tiplady said: “I’m sorry it’s happened. We’re working about a year in advance, but our attrition rates started to take a real decrease. What you don’t want to do is react to a blip. When we were sure the blip was a trend, we took action.

“Much as I understand the difficulty we’ve created, we can’t keep people in the system because we simply can’t give them dates. [The applicant] who says [he may have to wait] two years may well be right – it may be even longer. We took early action to stop further names getting into the system, but I want to make it clear that we haven’t withdrawn any offers.”

Meanwhile, the National Police Improvement Agency has said it may cut 500 jobs in police IT departments across the UK in an attempt to reduce its £1.4bn-a-year IT spend.

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