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Pushback against the Met?s £5k transfer incentive continues

Transfer lure reneges on chief constables agreement not to "incentivise" poaching officers from other forces PCCs' letter alleges.
Published - 01/06/2022 By - Cachella Smith

PCCs took to Twitter to condemn the move which could negatively impact their own force Uplift targets - since the targets are based on an overall force number increase rather than just the number of new recruits.

A letter signed by eight PCCs, including Hampshire PCC Donna Jones and Hertfordshire’s David Lloyd, has asked the Mayor of London to “alter this course of action by Sir Stephen”.

The PCCs say the move goes against an informal agreement made at the last Chief Constables’ Council to not "incentivise transfers between forces." The agreement was meant to stand until the end of the Uplift programme, in March 2023.

The letter states: “We are strongly of the view that this announcement will do nothing to strengthen public safety as a whole, including London’s; and risks having an adverse impact on our residents. We are simply unwilling to allow this.

“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.”

There is also reportedly a letter from eight Chief Constables to the Acting Commissioner on the same issue. 

Within yesterday’s announcement, the Met’s Director of Resources, Clare Davies, had explained the move as “making the Met competitive in the London job market at a time when all police forces and a number of other sectors are recruiting.”

The final year of the Uplift programme has the biggest target, the first two years having a target of 6,000 more officers each while the final year has a target of 8,000 across all forces. 

Dame Lynne Owens also took to Twitter this morning saying: “There is a phrase ‘hitting the target but missing the point.’ I cannot believe that this offer is a long, or even medium, term solution and it surely must come with a package (beyond financial) that looks at retention too.

“I believe the legal requirement to run an efficient and effective force reduces the willingness to work together in the common good. I hope there’s a way through in the public interest of all communities.”

Police Oracle spoke with Sussex PCC Katy Bourne, one of the signatories of the letter. She said she was “deeply unimpressed” by the move and described it as “deeply unhelpful”.

She said that she was confident the force would still meet their targets but that it would not be easy, particularly in light of the lifestyle changes people were making after Covid.

“We have really good plans in place but moves like this are bound to have a negative impact,” she said.

“I’m at a loss as to why the Met think they can get away with this.

“The Met need to put their house in order […] and don’t make their failure to recruit ours.”

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