Majority of new police officer resignations for ‘personal’ reasons

Of 243 resignations of officers with less than two years of service, 158 cited personal reasons for leaving.

‘Personal reasons’ the main reason Scottish police officers quit with less than two years’ service  iStock

New officers who resigned from Scotland’s police force have cited “personal” reasons for leaving in 65% of cases, new figures show.

A freedom of information request showed that of the 243 resignations of officers with less than two years of service between 2017-18 and October of this year, 158 officers cited personal reasons for leaving.

No further detail is presented in the figures as to what type of personal reasons, if any, were cited by officers in their resignations.

Another 62 did so to pursue employment outside the police force.

While the figure represents a relatively small number of the 16,570 officers currently serving in Police Scotland – the lowest for 14 years – Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain blamed “continued government cuts”.

But a separate freedom of information request from the party found 4,149 officers were recruited between 2017-18 and June of this year.

“This new information should make the Scottish Government sit up and pay attention,” said Chamberlain, a former police officer.

“With so many officers choosing to leave the service of their own accord, there can be no doubt that continued government cuts are taking a heavy toll on the welfare of recruits.

“A career in the police involves navigating complex pressures and high-level demands.

“But too many officers already feel like they don’t have the resources to do the job and that they are being left to pick up the pieces of Scotland’s mental health crisis.

“Now the frontline are warning that the SNP-Green government’s latest plans for spending cuts could mean the loss of 4,500 officers and staff.

“If the government fails to take action soon, we will face the hollowing out of invaluable expertise and skill.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “As with all sectors, people leave policing for all sorts of reasons.

“However, retention levels within Police Scotland are very high compared with other organisations.”

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