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Resignations overtake retirements as biggest reason for leaving the Met

The force has confirmed that resignations has been the frequent reason for leaving over the last two years.

The Metropolitan Police are seeing around 100 FTE officers per month resigning from the force, with resignation now overtaking retirement as the most frequent reason for leaving. 

The force has seen FTE resignation figures varying between 93.87 and 123 between March and the end of October this year - with every month except May seeing more than 100 FTE resigning. 

The force told Police Oracle that since 2013, attrition figures have increased – peaking at 2022/23 at 7% with the current rate at 6.9%. 

Their workforce strength has increased by around 10% and they added that they would expect attrition rates to rise proportionately. 

The national average is 8%. 

However, the force has confirmed that over the past two years the most frequent reason for leaving has been resignation – where the previous decade saw retirement as being the largest category of leavers. 

A Met spokesperson said: “In the past two years, the most frequent reason for leaving is resignations, compared to the previous decade where retirements were the highest number of category of leavers. This change is driven by the removal of the compulsory retirement age as well as a reflection of the changing employment market.”

The force’s Uplift target to be met by March 31 2023 was 36,500 headcount. It’s been well publicised that they did not meet that target and as a consequence had to return £60 million back to central government. 

Their Uplift headcount at the deadline stood at 35,411 meaning they missed their target by 1,089. The method for recording Uplift figures agreed by ministers was in line with the Annual Data Return and includes officers absent from duty for reasons such as parental leave and suspension. 

The Met’s monthly workforce headcount data which does not use the same ADR principles. Their headcount figure stood at 34,981 at end of March 2023. 

Most recently, at October 31 2023, that figure had seen a decrease of 295 and now stands at 34,686.

Meanwhile, FTE officer strength was at 34,503.14 at the end of March 2023 compared with 34,214.77 at the end of October. 

It means that the Met's headcount figure and FTE strength have both decreased further than at the Uplift deadline. 

Commissioner Mark Rowley has previously said that attraction and not attrition is the problem. 

Speaking earlier this month he said the force’s attrition rate is “very healthy” and that figures are starting to show recruitment approaching the level where it will sustain numbers – although he clarified it is early days in respect of that trend. 

He expects the force to finish this year between 1,700 and 1,800 less than their Uplift target. 

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