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Thin Blue Line: Significantly Reduced Number of Applications to Join the Scottish Police




According to figures published by Justice and Social Issues magazine 1919, there were 2,237 applications in 2021/22, down from 5,611 the previous year and 4,228 in 2019/20.

On Friday, the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) launched its most outspoken action protest in 100 years as officers withdrew their goodwill in a pay dispute.

Although it is legally prohibited for the police to engage in industrial action, they do not start work early or take wireless equipment home after working hours.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter. New recruits are stunned and ready to serve, but new applications to join Police Scotland have been cut by more than half.

Additional talks between the SPF and the Scottish government are scheduled to take place over three days this week.

SPF Secretary General Calum Steele said: “Police is clearly becoming less attractive as a career choice. This could result in issues related to a reduced number of police officers putting more strain on salaries, funds and available resources.

We are aware that there is currently a very active job market in the UK and the police service is competing with a variety of other professions and industries.

Clearly, issues with salaries, compensation and flexibility are contributing to the decline in the number of applications.

Former police officer Lib Dem MP Wendy Chamberlain said the application figures show a sharp decline in the number of people interested in a police career. She said: This type of job involves handling high levels of pressure and demands. From employee surveys, we know that police officers and employees struggle with fatigue, stress and mental health issues. Likewise, despite the increasing number of violent crimes, they are lack of resources, loss of valuable private expertise, and reliance on outdated IT systems. This will only get worse as another SNP cut is scheduled. It goes without saying that it doesn’t seem like an attractive profession.

However, Scottish Police Commissioner Simon Wright has encouraged interested people to pursue a police career.

He said the police service, like many other large organizations, has been coping with the impact of COVID-19 over the past two years and has limited hiring and training for a period of time.

However, despite the pandemic, we continued to recruit people to commit to Police Scotland and importantly, we have successfully met all recruitment recruitments.

Since the beginning of 2022, we have received 1,755 new applications and increased our police recruitment by 50%, with approximately 300 new officers joining the police with each recruitment.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish government said: The number of police officers in Scotland has increased significantly compared to 2007, with Scotland having approximately 32 officers per 10,000 population, compared to approximately 23 officers per 10,000 population in England and Wales, compared to approximately 23 officers per 10,000 population in England and Wales. It is relatively advantageous compared to the region.

It is normal for the number of officers to fluctuate and the current figure was impacted by the use of the Police Scotland Training College as a base for British police officers during Cop26 and the continued impact of coronavirus restrictions.

Despite the UK government’s austerity measures, we have increased police funding annually since 2016/17 and have invested more than $10 billion in policing since the establishment of Police Scotland in 2013.




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