Last updated on October 15th, 2023 at 07:19 pmReading Time: 4 minutes
My cynicism about the Police Uplift Programme should be well known by now, but my faith has now been stretched to the absolute limit.
The latest progress update was released this week and I’ve been too busy examining the first two years of the Programme to have given it very much attention, however, the headline figure is that up to end of June 2022 they had recruited 13,790 of their target of 20,000 by end of March next year.
I’m still stuck trying to make sense of the March 2022 stats. That headline figure was 13,576. Firstly, that means that the net gain for the last 3 months has only been 214. 214 in 3 months for the whole of England and Wales, that’s a success?
Secondly, and probably more important, the government releases data sets on the health of the Police Service every 6 months, and every 3 months for the Police Uplift Programme. What they are not too keen on publishing is how many of these ‘additional’ officers resigned before finishing their training.
So, I took out my trusty quill and sent a Freedom of Information Request to NPCC.
“Please tell me, for EACH of the different Entry Routes into Policing.
For the years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 how many recruits joined under each?
For the years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 how many recruits in each scheme resigned in their first year of training?
For the years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 how many recruits in each scheme resigned in their second year of training?”
To their credit they gave me a very comprehensive set of figures that, in theory, covered everything in my request.
In the first 2 years of the Uplift Programme (to March 2022) they stated that a total of 24,339 officers had joined, in total, by one of the entry routes or another.
The Police Uplift Programme put that figure as 13,790. but that can be explained by subtracting the number of the ‘additional’ officers who resigned during that 2 year period.
The only problem with that is, the figure for resignations provided by NPCC only totals 2,893, nowhere near the 10,763 needed to balance the figures.
I could forgive a simple counting error, but this is only (approx) 20% of the actual figure.
A cynical person might think that we are being fed bovine excrement and that they don’t want us to know what an abysmal failure the scheme really is.
Or maybe it is genuinely an accounting error, but the way the data is set out, it’s difficult to understand where such an error might have crept in.
As we have now entered the final year of the 3 year programme, my latest assessment must be that for every one of the, almost, 14,000 additional recruits there is an equal number that didn’t hang around to finish their training. You may think that’s a total waste of time and money. That seems to apply to predominantly the IPLDP route, but even then, that seems to be based on flawed or incomplete data.
The figures above made so little sense to me that I went back and took a fresh look at them. In the spirit of fairness to all there is only one alternative scenario that makes and sense to me, and it’s down to interpretation of the Home Office jargon.
Their latest release states that they have recruited an additional 13,790 officers under PUP. The pedant in me took that literally. The NPCC stats make far more sense if one accepts that they have actually recruited in excess of 24,000 officers to raise the overall headcount by 13,790 over the baseline figure, having taken into account ALL Leavers. If this is the case the chart above is far more reliable. The ‘missing’ 10,763 represented by the retirements, resignations etc outside of PUP. Nearly 11,000 seems like a reasonable number if that is the case.
I still have little faith in PUP, I think it’s a Vanity Project that runs a high risk of missing its target, and the way the Home Office present their updates could be clearer and more transparent, easier to understand, but I’m happy to amend/update my piece accordingly.
Assuming that I can now rely on my interpretation of the data, I can make a bit more sense of Wastage for the Programme.
In 2020/21 11,853 joined the programme, a total of 1009 voluntarily resigned during training give a National Wastage Rate of 8.5%.
In 2021/22 13,569 joined the programme and a total of 1,845 voluntarily resigned during training, giving a National Wastage Rate of 13.6%.
Details for individual Forces can be viewed below in Figs 2 and 3