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PCCs backlash over Met’s £5k cash recruitment push

PCCs have complained after the Met announced a financial incentive to lure officers from other forces.

Bedfordshire PCC Festus Akinbusoye has described the Met’s move to offer officers £5,000 to transfer from other forces as “ultra vires” (acting outside legal authority).

He tweeted: “I am gravely concerned by @metpoliceuk Acting Commissioner’s £5k incentive for transferees from other forces.

“It reneges on agreement in place, will not make London safer and will massively further damage trust in the Met. I urge @SadiqKhan and @kitmalthouse to put a stop to this.

“It’s fair to say several of us are considering our next steps in response to this ultra vires decision, which raises several questions as to why it is necessary despite financial incentives already in place for Met officers.

“Retention is a challenge but this makes it worse. Same rules do not seem to apply to all.”

Police Oracle has contacted his office but was informed he is currently on leave.

Kent PCC Matthew Scott told Police Oracle he believed the comment was in reference to an informal agreement between Chiefs to not encourage transfers. 

He also said he is currently working with other PCCs to take the next steps, saying that "by poaching experienced officers, our uplift targets are at risk." 

He also said he would "love to pay officers more", and that he was concerned over the promixity between the two forces particularly in light of the cost of living crisis. 

"We need the Home Office and government to intervene", he said. 

He had tweeted : “The failure of @metpoliceuk and @MOPACLdn to recruit will now be felt in neighbouring police forces as they seek to selfishly poach our experienced and trained officers to meet their own targets.

“This does not help meet the 20,000 goal as it moves existing officers around and puts pressure on Kent to recruit even more to fill the gap.”

The one-off payment of £5,000 will be offered by the Met to attract more uniformed PCs and will be in addition to existing benefits, the London weighting and the London allowance. It will apply to officers who transfer from other forces before December 2022.

In addition to this move, the force are abating the pension until June 2025, meaning officers will be able to stay working in the Met and still receive their pension post 30 years service/25 years if aged 55 or over, as they would if they were to leave the force and work in another organisation.

From this month, the joining salary for officers on either the apprenticeship degree programme or the IPLDP route will be £31,686 including allowances – the same as other entry routes.

The force needs 4,000 new officers by March next year to meet their target.

Acting Commissioner Stephen House has previously said that the force was struggling to work towards the target.

PCC Akinbusoye was not the only one to react to the news, with Sussex PCC Katy Bourne saying: “Met putting own internal targets ahead of concerns over community safety – does nothing to increase overall net recruitment into policing and just services to make whole system more expensive at time when all forces are feeling budget pressures. Met don’t care about bigger picture.”

The Met have not responded specifically to the PCCs concerns, however,  Met Director of Resources, Clare Davies, said: “Our growth is helping us achieve positive results in driving down violent crime and bolstering our presence in town centres and in neighbourhoods across London.

“The additional measures we have introduced are all targeted at making the Met competitive in the London job market at a time when all police forces and a number of other sectors are recruiting.

“We will be doing everything we can whilst we have the funding to encourage the best of the best to join us. We will also continue to press hard for a fair pay award for all our officers so that we remain an attractive employer.”

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