The Metropolitan Police Authority’s endorsement of plans to recruit its new officers from volunteers who would initially undergo an 18 month unpaid traineeship, instead of the current system that pays new recruits a £23,000 salary while they train, has not received the green light from the majority of the British public, our survey has revealed.
- 57% would oppose the proposal
- However, 26% say they would ‘strongly oppose’ the change from paid to unpaid traineeships
- Only 23% of people would support the move
- While just 6% said they would ‘strongly support’ the new recruitment method
Saving money...at social cost?
Changes to the recruitment process for the Metropolitan Police have been endorsed by their governing body, meaning that two thirds of recruits will have to work unpaid as a special constable before they can apply to become an officer. The unpaid working period would last 18 months and involve up to 16 hours a month of volunteering alongside other police training. It is estimated that this will save the force up to £20 million a year.
However, critics have argued that this move is classist and a deterrant to diversity because, they allege, only the middle-class would have the spare time and money to volunteer for such a long period.
Despite opposition, though, the idea appears to be catching on, as police forces in Surrey, Lancashire and Greater Manchester are considering similar moves.