Last updated on July 22nd, 2023 at 08:31 pmReading Time: 4 minutes
On Thursday morning I found myself spluttering into my Corn Flakes. A headline was staring out at me.
Met announces that Police Constables can now join the Met in a part-time role
At first I convinced myself that it was OK. Officers were working part time in the 90s, what’s different?
When I read the article I became more and more vexed. Before I go any further I want to make clear that I am fully aware that others can, and will, have different opinions to me. That is absolutely fine. Healthy debate is to be encouraged, and you can’t have a good debate if we all think the same. I shall come back to this later.
The full article can be viewed by clicking on the link above, but contains some real gems
Applicants will select from a range of employment types on their application form (full-time, part-time 24hrs or part-time 16hrs). Candidates are also able to self-select their training preferences at the point of offer of employment.
Upon attesting at Hendon, all officers attend a Certificate of Knowledge in Policing course for eight weeks. Part-time officers will have the option to complete this course on a part-time basis.
Students will then have the option to complete their foundation training full-time, full-time with a four-week break clause at week five, or via a bespoke part-time training offer.
The bespoke part-time offer will see students forming a part-time cohort twice a year, attending a four-day foundation course over a 17-week period that will be delivered between 0900-1700hrs.
The working patterns available are:
– Full time (working 40 hours per week and earning a base salary of £30,372)
– Part-time officers working an average of 24 hours per week or 240 hours over the 10-week cycle (earning a base salary of £18,223)
– Part-time officer working an average of 16 hours per week or 160 hours over the 10-week cycle (earning a base salary of £13,149).
This all sounds very complicated. Full Time is simple, nothing much has changed, but who on earth is going to administer the two Part Time schemes, and how?
My next question is how are the 16 and 24 hour Part Time schemes going to sit alongside Graduate Entry and Police Now? I assume that the Apprenticeship route is completely incompatible.
I also have concerns about who would take up this offer and why. What does the Met stand to gain from this except pegs in holes? I make no apology for being old-school. I joined in an era when The Job always came first. If your individual problems and circumstances could be accommodated they were, informally. The over-riding priority was always the Met. Work/Life Balance was skewed very much one way and the managerial attitude was very much “If you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t have joined.” Thankfully times are a bit more enlightened than that, but I am still of a generation that thought that The Job comes first, the breakup of many marriages. I’m not defending it, I don’t think we should go all the way back there, but The Job is The Job and needs to be done.
How will Duties Offices cover all the essential posts, arrange sufficient numbers of officers for Aid etc when some of those officers are on only 16 hours a week? How does a ‘bespoke Part-Time training offer’ work?
I posted my displeasure with this policy on Twitter and the response was very much divided. Some disagreed with me, and explained how times have changed, whilst others proffered opinions quite similar to my own.
My own, old-fashioned, opinion is that ANY officer should be willing to commit to far more than 16 hours per week. One of the comments included the fact that Part Time working is not new. No it is not, but a 16/24 hour week is definitely new.
As I said at the very beginning, I don’t expect everybody to agree with me, and they haven’t. Obviously I haven’t had this scheme fully explained to,me, but I just don’t see how it is going to work. It should benefit both Met and Recruit, but I have yet to see how the Met will benefit in any meaningful way.
Part Time Policing? It’s not for me thank you.