PCC accuses Met Police of ‘poaching’ its officers with recruitment campaign

PCC accuses Met Police of 'poaching'  its officers with recruitment campaign

The Metropolitan Police is offering experienced officers a one-off bonus of £5,000 if they transfer to the London force.

The capital’s police force has combined their recruitment drive with an advertising campaign carried in local newspapers across the home counties, including in the Times.

All police forces in England and Wales are recruiting to meet the Government’s target of 20,000 additional police officers by March 2023.

But Matthew Scott and other PCCs from force areas around London have called on the Met and the Mayor of London to stop using bonus payments to ‘poach’ experienced officers from neighbouring forces.

Mr Scott along with other PCCs has written to the London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressing dismay and dissatisfaction at the capital’s tactics.

In the letter, the PCCs say: “The most disturbing of these proposals is the £5,000 payment to incentivise police officers to transfer from their current forces into the Metropolitan Police.

“All forces have their own uplift target to achieve and we are all operating in a competitive employment market within the South-East that presents challenges for us all.

“As Police and Crime Commissioners for forces where we all met our uplift target last year, it is notable that the Metropolitan Police failed to hit its recruitment target and yet still received full funding from the Home Office.

“This was a financial option not made available to any other force. Given the imbalance of funding that already exists between the Met and other forces, the use of this additional income to encourage transferees from neighbouring forces is therefore particularly offensive and short-sighted.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor said Mr Khan made ‘no apology for standing up for London and supports the Met in recruiting and retaining the talented and experienced officers needed to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners and keep our capital safe’.

And the Met defended their recruitment strategy with Director of Resources, Clare Davies, telling the Times: “Our growth is helping us achieve positive results in driving down violent crime and bolstering our presence in town centres and in neighbourhoods across London.

“The additional measures we have introduced are all targeted at making the Met competitive in the London job market at a time when all police forces and a number of other sectors are recruiting.

“We will be doing everything we can whilst we have the funding to encourage the best of the best to join us. We will also continue to press hard for a fair pay award for all our officers so that we remain an attractive employer.”

But Matthew Scott described the recruitment tactics as ‘selfish’ and branded the idea of offering bonuses as an attempt to ‘poach’ members of Kent Police.

He said: “The failure of the Met Police to recruit will now be felt in neighbouring police forces as they selfishly seek to poach our experienced and trained officers to meet their own targets.

“Policing works best when we work together, but clearly the Met is not co-operating here.

“I have always argued officers should be better paid, but it must be a level playing field across all forces.”

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