Lib Dems reveal reasons behind police officers quitting the service

By Bill Heaney

Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain MP has today criticised the Scottish Government’s proposed cuts to justice budgets as she revealed the results of an internal police survey which highlighted a lack of resources, a lack of recognition and a need for career progression as key reasons behind officers quitting.

A Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information request has uncovered the reasons for leaving given by officers and staff who departed between October and August 2022.

Respondents to the exit survey offered the following as reasons for leaving Police Scotland:    

  • 20.2% cited “lack of resources.”      
  • 20.2% cited “working pattern.”      
  • 16% cited “lack of recognition.”      
  • 36.2% felt a need for “career advancement.”   
  • 31.9% sought a “career change.”  

Police Scotland’s latest quarterly strength statistics showed officer numbers to be at their lowest level since 2008, with the force estimating that a further 4,400 officer and staff jobs could be lost over the next four years due to Scottish Government cuts. Meanwhile, recent Scottish Liberal Democrat research has demonstrated hundreds of officers are leaving Police Scotland after less than a decade’s service.

LibDem Wendy Chamberlain and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Commenting on the figures, Ms Chamberlain said: “The responses in this survey show that many officers feel unsupported, overwhelmed and stretched dangerously thin, but the Scottish Government is compounding those strains.

“Officers are heading for the exit, leaving the service without the expertise and skill it needs to keep communities safe.

“A career in the police involves complex pressures and high-level demands. The Scottish Government must make sure officers have the support and resources they need to do their job, and the opportunities for development and career progression that make the long hours and tough conditions feel worth it.

“That’s why Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling on Nicola Sturgeon to rethink her proposed cuts to justice budgets. In the interests of policing and our wider justice system, SNP/Green ministers need to listen to the concerns of officers and communities and revisit their plans.”

The FOIs can be found here and here.

On 26 October 2022, the Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee heard the evidence of Deputy Chief Constable David Page that 4,400 officers and civilians staff jobs could be lost over the next four years and the 101 non-emergency helpline could be axed if government cuts go ahead.


One comment

  1. Ah Police Scotland. A political police force modelled in so many ways on the old RUC.

    They say they don’t have money. But they had enough to spend £10million investigating Alex Salmond. And then of course they had plenty of money to pursue Mark Hirst, Craig Muraay, Manny Singh and many others. And Mr Salmond has yet to pursue damages.

    And the Rangers prosecution maliciously pursued? That has cost the public purse £59 million to date and rising. But John Swinney says it’s all right general government funds will pay for it.

    I think we need to take the statements by Police Scotland with a pinch of salt.

    And maybe the politicos who are mouthing off might like to take a look at the senior management of Police Scotland which includes an ex-head of the RUC, an ex-director of the National Crime Agency, an ex-Military Policeman, an ex-Royal Navy intelligence officer, and a sprinkling of ex chief cops from forces in England.

    Not your expected profile of a Scottish Police service. And now they want to clamp down on political marches, protest etc. No wonder the common five eight cop is pissed off with management like this.

    And all the while they have utterly lost control of the streets, where stabbing, shooting, torching, and brutal torture is an everyday reported occurrence in drug crime fuelled Scotland, and a Scotland where they do not report crimes but keep them hidden from public awareness.

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