The Changing Shape of the Police Service Part III Mid Service Crisis?

Last updated on August 14th, 2023 at 04:46 pm

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Apologies tor the slight delay in getting Part III written, once I had got all the data in something else happened elsewhere that demanded my attention. Now I have a window, so I give you The Changing Shape of the Police Service Part III Mid Service Crisis?

It was my original intention to look at Mid Service Policing at individual Force levels, but it very soon became obvious that the numbers and associated charts would contain way too much data and just confuse instead of explaining. If you would like the data for an individual Force please drop me an email and I’ll see how I can help you.

I have no problem admitting that my initial view, before the data came in, was that there was a problem with mid-service officers voluntarily resigning and not completing their full 30 years, or however many it is these days.

How is it in reality?

5-10 Years Service

Nationally, between 2017 and 2021 inclusive, Policing in England and Wales had an average of 16,365 officers with 5-10 years Service. How many left? To be quite clear, these figures ONLY relate to Voluntary Resignations, they most definitely do not incluse Dismissals, Ill Health or Injury Pensions or Inter Force Transfers.

For the purposes of my calculations, as I’m mainly dealing with averages and percentages, I have excluded a small number of Forces who Refused to supply the data on the grounds that their IT wasn’t up to it (seriously). This produced a slightly revised average number of officers with 5-10 years service each year as 14,850. Of those officers an Average of only 346 officers per year resigning voluntarily with 5-10 years Service, less than two and a half percent. So far, so good, that sounds quite good to me.


10-15 Years Service

Between 2017 and 2021 Policing had an average of 27,342 officers with 10-15 years service and only 536 officers from this group resigned voluntarily each year, a smidgeon less than 2%.  That doesn’t seem too bad either.

15-20 Years Service

Finally let’s look at the 15-20 year officers.  Between 2017 and 2021 there were an average of 27,410 in this range, with an average of 276 resigning voluntarily each year, a mere 1%.


I have to conclude that annual wastage rates of between 1% and 2.5% don’t actually seem too bad. As stated previously these figures only relate to those officers that have voluntarily chosen to leave the world of Policing behind, and try something else. I have to confess that some of the anecdotes I have heard made me think that the true rates would be higher than they actually were, Maybe the 2022 stats when they are released in a month or two will change that but so far the signs are encouraging.


Finally, as promised, the changing shape of the Police Service of England and Wales in 2021 compared to March 2012 which is not long after the Tories came to power, and the earliest dataset I can find for national length of service. Numbers come and numbers go, with Boris’ Magic 20,000 swelling the more recent numbers so I have decided to show the shape of the Police Service based on percentages of the total establishment at that time.

The Changing Shape of the Police Service Part III Mid Service Crisis?

I don’t think I need to say very much about that, the gains and losses are obviuos. However, as the data would suggest that the mid-service officers are NOT resigning, I can only credit the changing shape of the Police Service to the actions of David Cameron, Theresa May and Tom Winsor, together with numerous senior Police Officers who stood by, said nothing and just watched what happened.

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2 thoughts on “The Changing Shape of the Police Service Part III Mid Service Crisis?”

  1. I was most impressed by your honesty to say what your working assumption was and then having the integrity to publish the research anyway, referring back to that assumption. It makes me respect your work even more. I tweeted it btw. I hope more readers look at your material.

    1. RetiredAndAngry

      Thank you. If nothing else I do try to be fair and balanced. It was exactly as I wrote it, I had an assumption, obtained the data to prove it and discovered I was wrong. I have no problem with admitting that, and will do so again if I need to ?

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