Officers seek new lives abroad

AN average of two officers or staff resigned from Suffolk police every week during the last 12 months, it can be revealed today.The figures have been released following a Freedom of Information request submitted by The Evening Star.

AN average of two officers or staff resigned from Suffolk police every week during the last 12 months, it can be revealed today.

The figures have been released following a Freedom of Information request submitted by The Evening Star.

They reveal that in 2007/08, 19 officers and 84 police staff quit the force, making a total of 103.

It has also emerged that during the last four years, a total of 384 officers and staff resigned from their positions.

Angela Mercer, secretary of Suffolk Police Federation, which represents officers, said the small increase in the numbers of officers leaving was down to personal choice rather than job dissatisfaction.

She said an increasing trend was for officers to quit and transfer to forces overseas.

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“An emerging pattern is for officers to transfer to Canada, New Zealand and Australia,” she said.

“We have seen ten or more over the last two to three years. Those moves are for the lifestyle, as the pay is less in those places.”

Suffolk police said the recruitment and retention of police officers and staff was a priority for the constabulary.

A spokesman said: “Like any other sizeable organisation, it is reasonable to expect that some staff will leave. Reasons for leaving can vary and this is constantly monitored.

“For police officers the rates of leaving remain low, not only nationally, but locally too, especially in comparison to those of other public services.

“For instance in September 2007 there were 1,347 police officers, 19 of whom left during 2007/8.

“This equals approximately 1.4 per cent of police officers resigning during this time. Some will have retired or transferred to another force.

“When an officer or staff member indicates their intention to resign or hands in their notice, Suffolk Constabulary has a process in place to engage with them to find out if and how they might be encouraged to stay.

“Encouragingly, a recent recruitment drive for police officers saw in excess of 800 applicants, showing there is a keen interest in working for Suffolk Constabulary.”

What do you make of the figures? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Police Officers Police Staff Total

2004/2005 26 78 104

2005/2006 16 61 77

2006/2007 12 92 104

2007/2008 19 84 103