A police HR chief has defended putting new officer recruits on waiting lists to start their jobs – despite some waiting up to a year.
It emerged this week that the Met Police had deferred 2,000 successful officer applicants to 2011 after they had passed exams and interviews during last year’s recruitment round. It said it had experienced less staff turnover than expected during the recession, meaning fewer policing roles were available than first thought.
West Midlands revealed it had 240 recruits waiting to start their jobs, while Gloucestershire and Cleveland each had about 100.
However, David Williams, director of personnel at West Midlands Police, insisted waiting lists were “no new phenomenon”.
He also stressed they would not have any detrimental impact on forces’ ability to attract the best talent. “If people are committed and persevere, they will get in. A year’s wait is maybe a good test of their commitment,” he told Personnel Today.
He added he would be more concerned if there were no waiting lists, “because then people would see [policing] as an easy career option”.
But Metin Enver, head of communications at the Police Federation, warned: “[The waiting lists] could put people off and close the door on people who would have considered policing in the coming year, as they will be aware of the situation and plan for alternative careers.”