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Boris’s Mythical 20000

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Last updated on September 19th, 2023 at 03:55 pm

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Relax, this post will be very short.

Within hours of being appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson was promising to recruit 20,000 extra Police Officers for England and Wales. The majority said “Wow”, “Brilliant” and other such sayings.

Me, I said “Bollocks”.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish him well, I have no idea how the savagely depleted infrastructure will cope, but to process 20,000 recruits over 3 years will take some doing, not impossible, but highly improbable.

Only it isn’t 20,000 is it?

Since 2005 the Police Service has experienced between 6,500-8,500 ‘Leavers’ per annum. That’s way before the Tory cuts began. Govt cuts have mainly been achieved by reducing Recruiting as Police Officers cannot be made redundant.

boris's mythical 20000

One fact is possibly an important contributory factor, since 2010 Leavers have ALWAYS outnumbered Joiners from 2010 until 2019, when the lines cross very slightly once more..

In order for Boris to succeed in his rather rash promise the Police Service of England and Wales, collectively, will have to recruit > 40,000 not 20,000, otherwise wastage will negate Boris’s target. Boris, College of Stupid Ideas and NPCC will have to get their heads together and sort out Retention, no easy task after Cruella’s Pension Reforms.  I wish him well, we need some positive action and news to make us more optimistic, I just wish he would be more honest with the numbers (again).

I rest my case.

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2 thoughts on “Boris’s Mythical 20000”

  1. Well said! The 20K soundbite has gained traction; but as we know, scratch the surface and you find that officer retention, the loss of civilian ‘back room’ staff who enabled officers to get back onto the streets quickly; together with the loss of infrastructure and resources ‘cannot be plucked out of thin air’. Just as significant is the loss of ‘institutional knowledge’, by which, I mean the sort of stuff we learnt from experienced officers, usually on Relief and Street Duties Courses, has also evaporated with the loss of so many experienced officers through ‘natural and unnatural wastage’ – and of course this wasn’t helped when the received wisdom of the Job was to pejoratively label anyone who knew what they were actually doing, in other words the good street cops and experienced CID officers, as a ‘Dinosaur’ and not to be listened to or trusted by the newbies coming into the Job. Having said that, my personal view is that Boris’ 20,000 police officers will just end up as another mirage from a man who cannot be trusted ‘to lie straight in bed’.

  2. As a retired and angry former Police Officer, I am aslo living in hope rather than expectation of 20,000 more officers. It is possible, but involves some hard choices involving the NPCC, & the tame PCCs who doing as their political masters wish. I and thousands of serving and retired officers would be at the front of the queue to rejoice when the recruits start rolling in. Now with some life limiting health issues, I am no longer fit enough to contribute, but there are plenty of capable recently retired or due to retire officers, who would be more than willing to assist in training candidates.

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