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More than a fifth of UK police recruits leave

Chester Borrows MP National Party Police Spokesman

10 April 2008

More than a fifth of UK police recruits leave

More than a fifth of the police officers recruited from the United Kingdom into the New Zealand Police have left already, says National's Police spokesman, Chester Borrows.

Answers to parliamentary questions show that 78 of the 363 serving officers recruited from the United Kingdom since 2003 have left. Of more concern in the longer term is that of the 76 recruited in 2003 alone, only 41 remain.

"That's a big rate of attrition, and must place a question-mark around the value of the latest move to recruit officers from Singapore.

"National has been expressing concern about the high attrition rate among overseas recruits for some time but there has been little response from Police Minister Annette King.

"And she seems to be doing little to address the problem.

"You have to wonder if conditions of work are made clear to these people before we go to the expense of training them.

"UK recruits don't have to serve a minimum period with the New Zealand Police, and a lot of resource goes into training them, only for a significant proportion to leave within a couple of years.

"I have no doubt that overseas recruits bring a wealth of experience to the job, but it must be obvious by now that recruiting police from overseas isn't the sustainable solution the Government thought it would be.

"But I guess that's the pressure you get when you pluck a gimmick like 1,000 extra cops out of the air without doing your homework properly.

"After all, it was Helen Clark who said before the last election 'Some political parties are promising thousands of new police. Such promises are simply not credible.'"


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