Thames Valley Police Commissioner slams Met's £5k incentive to 'poach' officers

The Thames Valley Police Commissioner has slammed a new £5,000 recruitment incentive launched by Metropolitan Police.

By James Lowson
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 11:21 am

Experienced officers interested in working in the capital can receive a £5,000 payment to joint the Metropolitan Police in a limited time offer.

On Twitter, Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber, labelled the move ‘outrageous’.

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He said: "Outrageous move by @metpoliceuk and @MOPACLdn seeking to poach police officers from neighbouring forces such as @ThamesVP

with cash incentive.

“This move does absolutely nothing to recruit a single new police officer to help keep the public safe, but instead breaches an agreement that was in place between forces.

"Targeting officers from other forces only risk community safety in this areas not to mention the question of whether it’s even legal.

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber

"Instead of fighting over the same turf we should be working together to attract the best new people into policing.”

The Thames Valley Commissioner was one of many commissioners in the South East who signed an open letter addressed to London Mayor Sadiq Khan yesterday (31 May).

Commissioners have asked the mayor to alter this Met project and argued failure to do so will ‘further damage the reputation of the Metropolitan Police and jeopardise the resilience of your neighbouring police forces.

One issue raised in the open letter was the ambitious recruitment drives that police forces have launched as part of a national Government scheme.

Despite these targets set out by the Government, Home Office data revealed in February showed that the number of Thames Valley Police officers actually decreased in 2021.

The commissioners said: “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 targets 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 this recruitment target last year 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.”

This latest incentive follows February’s announcement from the Met, revealing it was temporarily willing to hire officers who live outside of London.

Met Police is aiming to hire 4,000 new officers by March next year.

A spokesman for Met Police said: “To help achieve our ambition for record growth during this time-limited period, we are offering a one-off cash bonus of £5,000 in addition to our existing package of benefits to encourage more people to become a police constable.

“In order to be more attractive to our experienced and skilled officers who have passed their usual point of retirement we are removing pension abatement, allowing them to receive their full pension and their monthly salary as they would if they had retired and started work in another organisation.”