Great emphasis has been place by the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne on her drive to achieve greater numbers of police officers within the Force.
This has led to inflation busting council tax rises for the past two years.
She has also been quick to point out at every opportunity and publicise the numbers that have been recruited over the past year.
While I am of course keen to see the numbers of police officers swell considerably within the county of Sussex as well as elsewhere, I think that an injection of reality is very important.
I have just received the response to a Freedom of Information Act request that I made to Sussex Police.
These figures are correct as at the 18th March 2019, almost exactly 12 months since recruitment began on the 1st April 2018.
Number of officers recruited: 267
Numbers leaving through retirement: 133
Numbers leaving as a result of resigning: 83
That is an overall balance of 51.
Therefore, at this rate the PCC is highly unlikely to achieve her target of an EXTRA 200 police officers by 2022 all things remaining equal.
I would suggest that while the 133 retirees is explainable, the 83 resignations are not.
My question therefore is simply this, “What are Sussex Police doing in order to reduce the numbers of officers leaving other than through retirement?”
There are of course many potential reasons for these resignations some of which are outside of the control of the local Force, for example low salaries and poor general conditions of service both of which can find their origins with our current Prime Minister and former Home Secretary Theresa May.
She of course, along with David Cameron was responsible for reducing police officer numbers in this country by a fifth since 2010.
To remind people, Sussex officer numbers have reduced from 3,200 to 2,500 since 2010 prior to the latest recruitment drive.
Dare I say it then that the council tax payers of Sussex are likely to be very disappointed with the results of their major investment in local policing!
Retired Chief Superintendent Sussex Police