Met puts more bobbies on the beat – at last

The
Metropolitan Police has succeeded in doubling the number of recruits it puts
through its training college at Hendon since last year as it starts to tackle
its recruitment crisis.

It has
started a fundamental review of civilian staff pay and conditions because it
cannot get new recruits. About 200 trainee officers are now joining the Hendon
course every five weeks.

It follows
the launch of a recruitment task force in the autumn aimed at recruiting 2,000
extra officers over the next three years. The campaign is targeted at minority
groups and new graduates.

It also
marks the relaxation of eligibility rules so that people who have committed
minor offences are still eligible.

A spokesman
said, “We are still in crisis with police recruitment because it takes time to
get people through the system.

“But at
present we are cautiously optimistic. We are now seeing more people joining
than leaving.”

The task
force, made up of personnel experts and officers, has slashed application
processing time from nine to less than four months from receipt to start of
training but the shortage of civilian workers has forced them to switch 200
officers to civilian tasks.

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