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A quarter of force's leaving probationers go to pursue other careers

But Scottish Government says voluntary resignations are 50 per cent lower than forces down south

Probationers who resigned from Police Scotland have cited “personal” reasons for leaving in 65% of cases, new figures show while 25% left to pursue other careers. 

A freedom of information request from the Scottish Lib Dems showed that of the 243 resignations of officers with less than two years of service between 2017-18 and October of this year, 158 officers cited personal reasons for leaving.

Another 62 did so to pursue employment outside the police force. A separate F0I request found 4,149 officers were recruited between 2017-18 and June of this year.

Responding to the figures the Scottish Government said that the current voluntary resignation rate among Scottish officers was half that of forces in England and Wales.

Police Scotland does not operate a degree entry requirement. 

But Scottish Lib Dem deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain, who is a former police officer, said the figures “should make the Scottish Government sit up and pay attention.”

“With so many officers choosing to leave the service of their own accord, there can be no doubt that continued government cuts are taking a heavy toll on the welfare of recruits.

“A career in the police involves navigating complex pressures and high-level demands.

“But too many officers already feel like they don’t have the resources to do the job and that they are being left to pick up the pieces of Scotland’s mental health crisis.

“Now the frontline are warning that the SNP-Green government’s latest plans for spending cuts could mean the loss of 4,500 officers and staff.

“If the government fails to take action soon, we will face the hollowing out of invaluable expertise and skill.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “As with all sectors, people leave policing for all sorts of reasons.

“However, retention levels within Police Scotland are very high compared with other organisations.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “In 2021-22 the rate of voluntary resignation among officers in Scotland was less than half that in England and Wales, and new officers here receive around £5,000 a year more. A police recruitment drive has also seen around 900 new recruits take the oath of office this year.”

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