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Met pauses recruitment after hitting target of 1,300 extra officers

Latest figures also show that 45 full time officers rejoined the force following the appeal in March to former PCs and sergeants
Published - 01/09/2020 By - Chloe Livadeas

The force has recruited 1,369 officers this financial year, bringing the workforce to around 32,800 officers. It has now paused its recruitment until early 2021.

The number of officers retiring or resigning also slowed during the pandemic with the result that there were fewer vacancies to fill, it said.

The force also confirmed that 45 officers have returned to the force following the management appeal for ex-officers to rejoin to help police the pandemic in the capital. 

A force spokesperson said: “This decision has been taken because our very successful recruitment programme has allowed us to recruit 1,369 additional officers, which was our funded target for this financial year under the National Uplift funding, several months early.

“Additionally, the number of officers leaving the Met either through retirement or resignation has reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning we have retained more officers than anticipated. “

They added: “The Met’s recruitment team will be keeping in touch with all candidates in the recruitment pipeline to explain what impact this has on them and their wait to join the Met.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London confirmed the force had met its recruitment target but hit out at central government for creating uncertainty on future numbers and not yet compensating the force for the cost of policing the pandemic.

"The Government is still refusing to refund the Met Police or City Hall for the huge cost of tackling Covid-19 and has failed to provide clarity on the funding for officers in the next financial year, ushering in a new era of austerity for local services, including the police,” they said.

“Ministers must act urgently to refund public services fully for the cost of tackling this virus.”

The Home Office said in a statement: “We have been working closely with the policing sector from the outset to understand the additional financial pressures they are incurring due to the pandemic and inform their future funding needs.”

They said work with all forces was underway to ensure they are reimbursed by HM Government for all additional personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased by Police and Crime Commissioners between March and July 2020.

At the end of March every PC and sergeant who had retired within the past five years was asked by Commissioner Cressida Dick if they would return to the force to help with the response to the coronavirus outbreak amid fears that public services in London would be overwhlemed.  

They were asked to come back either on a full or part time basis, and as volunteers or paid employees. 

Those who retired for longer were asked to return as Special Constables and commit at least 16 hours a week. 

A total of 2,586 PCs and 1,427 sergeants retired in the past five years. 

The Met said the latest figures available showed that as off 22 May, 54 officers’ applications to return were successful and they had completed their refresher training. Nine of these returned as specials and 45 came back as paid officers. 

The Treasury confirmed at the end of April that any officers returning would not have their pensions affected.

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