Fedster + 1,307 Posted March 7, 2018 Share Posted March 7, 2018 CC says many of his officers are transferring to areas with cheaper housing and an improved quality of life. The Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police says the force’s recruitment and retention crisis is down to spiraling house prices in his region. TVP is currently facing a shortage of 110 officers resulting in the need to recruit case investigators to ease the strain. The force is struggling for a number of reasons, including the number of officers retiring and officers being poached by rival forces. But Chief Constable Francis Habgood says it is also finding it difficult to retain officers because house prices in the Thames Valley region are so high. CC Habgood said: “We’re losing officers to other forces around the country. We’re losing quite a few to Devon and Cornwall. “There’s not a lot I can do to compete with quality of life type issues and housing costs. I was talking to a sergeant and a constable who live together and are moving down to Cornwall and Devon (force area). “They’re giving up a two bedroom flat for a five-bedroom detached house in Devon. I cannot compete with that.” Figures released yesterday by Zoopla reveal that Oxford is one of the most expensive areas for single buyers in England and Wales. Those living in the city, on average, have to put aside 32 per cent of their monthly wage for mortgage payments. However, Thames Valley Police Federation Chairman Craig O’Leary told Police Oracle one of the main contributing factors for officers transferring out of the force is down to an alternation in shift patterns in June. Last year TVP federation carried out a survey after the new system was introduced with 76 per cent of the 1,172 officers who completed it saying their work/life balance had deteriorated. The feedback said the changes resulted in high workloads, long hours, large amounts of overtime and less time between shifts. Mr O’Leary said: “We are in the midst of struggling to recruit officers. One of these reasons is officers seeking a better quality of life, but more worrying is that some have had enough of policing in general. “We can’t stop officers leaving for a better quality of life, but the changes in shift patterns and the model has been a real struggle for our members plus the increase in demands. “It doesn’t surprise me that we are struggling to recruit. We are trying to improve things internally." According to Mr O'Leary the force has agreed to now improve the shift patterns which will see a six on, four off system. He added this should have a postive impact but, but the force "shouldn’t rest on its laurels" due to the amount of other contributing factors. Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld recently said he would not be investing more money into attracting extra officers to the force. He said: “We are managing our response to the current situation in relation to police officer numbers, looking at how we can improve our recruitment process and how we can make TVP a more attractive proposition without increasing the long-term cost. “These actions include improving the overall recruitment process by speeding up the process so potential recruits do not have to wait so long to find out if they have been accepted and also gaining a better understanding of the potential market, available recruits, so we can direct our efforts in a more targeted approach." Property website RightMove says the average house in Thames Valley costs £407,494. Meanwhile houses sold in Devon on average for £256,654, £255,757 in Cornwall, £188,088 in Cumbria, £302,859 in Bedfordshire, £461,447 in Hertfordshire, £347,879 in Essex, £303,958 in Cambridgeshire and £735,953 in London. The average house in Oxford costs £507,214 View On Police Oracle Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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