Police recruits to work for free - why not the Army?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by OldSnowy, Sep 30, 2010.

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  1. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    I see that the Coppers are thinking about getting all recruits to work for free and also pay for their own training (BBC News - New Met Police officers 'recruited from volunteers' ). Notwithstanding the utter, utter lunacy of this (see the dissection of the idea by Police blogger Inspector Gadget here: POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG) it seems it could well come to pass.

    We already have students coming out of Uni with a degree of often dubious merit, having spent three otherwise productive (i.e. earning, saving, pension-hoarding) years doing little, and with the bonus of a huge debt. This is now accepted, even though it would have been completely unthinkable a few years ago.

    You can see where I’m leading. Given that the MOD is seriously short of dosh….

    Consider this. We are at full manning, or very close, which indicates that people are very keen to join,; they are already willing to wait a long time for a training place. The cost of training young soldiers is high. There must be a strong temptation to either reduce their pay, or get them to work for free, while being trained. If we could get them to actually pay for that training – Bonus!

    If it could be camouflaged (as the police scheme would be, I’m sure) as ‘gaining work experience’ and given some sort of ‘public service’ tag, then it could well be sold to the public. It will still be, of course, the use of free/slave labour, getting work out of people in the possible hope of paid employment at the end, and in my view morally reprehensible, but since when has that ever stopped anything?

    Or am I just being hopelessly paranoid?
  2. I reckon it's a good idea. A number of US and Canadian Police Forces require that you pay for your own training. It's been discussed here for a while now. I don't think that we'll ever see the Armed Forces requiring the same of it's recruits, but a period of national service wouldn't be a bad idea. The Army may be at full manning right now, but that's because of the obvious 'current adventure' and a certain degree of unemployment. When it all calms down and jobs become more abundant, it will do as it has always done and return to its default setting.
  3. Oh, I can see that winding the "One Army, It's Us, Not You" crowd up. "Must have done time as a Special" would translate into "have to have done time in the TA."

    Of course, there isn't going to be enough of the TA left come November ...
  4. Apologise for going slightly o.t but has'nt National Service debates on here mostly recieved a negative feedback, even 'if' it would require self contribution,

    although it's been well known that recruitment itself is 'very healthly' retention is still the opposite, overal i agree we'll not see this approach with our recruits.
  5. Perhaps the Yeomanry will be ordered to dust off the saddles and start patroling towns on Friday nights.

    Kite flying exercise designed to counter the current spending review.

    Personally, I would like to see the plod cancel all equality and diversity training and re-allocate that cash towards their recruits.

    Or perhaps we a re seeing a return to the "Bow Street Runners " era of policing - thugs and well meaning amateurs ( pity Bow Street police station has been converted into luxury flats).
  6. 'SPG & PCSO'....seen at any large gathering near you(unless you like I live rural)
  7. Why not look at it another way. What is the attrition rate during initial officer training? What is the officer resignation rate during the two-year probation period? Is it possibly due the reason that a increasing number of Police recruits find that within a short period of employment that a life on the Thin Blue Line isn't for them? The financial bit is a no brainer but there must be other apsects to it aswell.

    Why not have a process where you try-before-you-buy and join the Specials first to see if it's for you. I know a few guys who left the service within a few years of joining because it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I bet most ARRSEr's could rattle off a dozen blokes names they served with who left bang-on there 3 yr point as it wasn't for them. What about the attrition rate in P1?

    To me it makes sense, and anyway, being a Special is used as a springboard regularly to be accepted as a PC, in fact most forces tell wannabe's who fail the PC appilcation process to join as an SC to boost their chances of making it on the next recruitment period. However, that's more aimed at increasing low SC levels without expensive recruitment campaigns.

    I'm not sure where the 'Pay for your own training' bit comes into it either.
  8. The Police tend to arrest shop lifters, the military fights people who will slowly saw your head off on camera. Hardly the same thing.
  9. And bone post of the year award goes to...
  10. The main problem that I can see with this is that such a move will potentially close the door to the police service to potential older recruits.

    The late 20's - early 30's types who've perhaps decided to join a bit later on and already have mortgages or other commitments. Effectively leaving it to the younger crowd.

    I think that, by and large, slightly more mature applicants make better candidates as they usually have a bit more life experience and might have already served in the military or gained experience of dealing with difficult situations already.

    I'm not decrying the 18/19 year olds who join (the last guy I tutored was 19 and a good lad) it's just a wider variety of experience is needed.

    It is, as a result of the UK's financial problems, nothing more than getting more coppers for feck all, as every person who wants to join will end up specialing (is that a word?) but with mo guarantee of success in become a full time officer.
  11. Surely the main problem here is that the large number of service personnel that join up straight after discharge will no longer be able to do so. Queen Regs does not permit those currently serving to be in the police and this includes Specials. How many of the large number of soldiers currently serving and hoping to join the police will be prepared to kick around the Specials for 18 months after discharge prior to even being able to apply to the Police?
  12. Why should we stop at asking recruits to pay for their training. Charge dog handlers for their course (and make them rent their dogs from the force), make detectives pay for the privilage of learning crime detection and charge the horsey ones for the time they spend trotting up and down.

    What a load of boll0cks, all this do is put recruitment back years.
  13. Like most things this is purely a financial savings venture dreamed up by those bean counting types who have absolutely no touch with reality. It's nothing to do with the good of policing, or if it became widespread, the good of HMF. Trying to make fiscal efficiencies is one thing but completely ruining the recruiting system is extremely foolish.
    Its apparent that those able to do this volunteer service would have the means to do so financially. This would disenfranchise most working class people and as has been pointed out, ex-servicemen and women. What ever happened to "the police are the public and the public are the police." It's supposed to represent all areas of society and as others have pointed out, you can't ex-service personnel, or any mature people over 25 will be all but unheard of in police recruits.
    Its one thing asking people to pay for their period of training, (although I don't agree with that either), which is short term and a bit like paying to go to college or university, but completely over the top asking people to work and risk injury, or death without pay for extended periods of time.
    A completely ridiculous idea thought up by people who have no idea, (or just don't care), what the disastrous repercussions will be down the road. IMHO cannot and will not work for the police and likewise is even more ridiculous should it ever be considered for HMF.
  14. I have often wondered how firms who employ "interns" and pay them nothing mange to getaway with it. Surely under the minimum wage regulations, everyone employed should be paid the minimum wage.
  15. And we could make you pay for your own car, house and Sky telly instead of us buying it for you.

    Isn't it illegal to require people to work for nothing to get/keep a job? IIRC, contracts requiring employees to do unpaid overtime are unenforceable.

    Before making up your mind about this, have a look at Arrse's favourite lawman, Sheriff Joe Arpaio (currently being prosecuted by the federal government for massive corruption and human rights violations)

    Joe makes extensive use of unpaid "Deputies" to keep his wage bill down. Not only are these folks unpaid, they have to buy around $4,000 worth of kit to join the club. Consequently, they tend to be extreme walts with personality disorders that make Hannibal Lecter look like your granny. A couple of them burned a bloke's dog to death because they (mistakenly) thought the bloke was a drug dealer. They had raided the wrong house, set it on fire and forced the dog back in to the burning house when it tried to flee.

    Do you really want people like that pounding the beat in London?

    If this wheeze comes to pass, specials will become "PCSO lite", wearing a constable's uniform but without even the 7 weeks training that PCSOs get.