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Balancing work and family life ushers in part-time policing for new recruits


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Met PCs will be given option to choose between 40, 24 or 16 hours a week.

Pounding to a new beat: Part time policing for Met officers

Pounding to a new beat: Part time policing for Met officers

Date - 12th June 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
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Policing is to sweep aside its “inflexible” image to a work versus family-life balance by allowing part-time constables into its ranks.

The Met Police will recruit part-time PCs for the first time as the force tries to "break down barriers" deterring women from joining.

From November, all new constable recruits will get the option to choose from full-time, part-time 24-hour or part-time 16-hour working patterns.

The Met believes it is the first force in the UK to offer these part-time positions and it follows research that shows full-time working hours deter women from considering a career in policing.

It hopes the change will make police work more attractive to both men and women with family commitments.

It comes in the same year the Met is celebrating 100 years of women serving in its force.

Commissioner Cressida Dick said: "The case for doing this was clear – we know that one of the obstacles stopping people from fulfilling their dreams of becoming a police officer has been the lack of flexibility in how they have to train and balance their family life.

"We will continue to break down barriers where we know they exist as we strive to open up a career in policing with the Met to even more people."

Commander Catherine Roper, force lead on professionalism, said: "I am thrilled that the Met is now able to offer this opportunity.

"Many people wish to join our incredible organisation but have other responsibilities that make a full-time commitment extremely difficult."

Previously, all new police constable recruits were expected to complete their training and then their probationary training period on a full-time basis before they were able to apply for part-time working.

The first intake of constables to be offered part-time positions will begin training in November.

The working patterns available are:

  • Full time (working 40 hours per week and earning a base salary of £30,372)
  • Part-time officers working an average of 24 hours per week or 240 hours over the 10-week cycle (earning a base salary of £18,223) 
  • Part-time officer working an average of 16 hours per week or 160 hours over the 10-week cycle (earning a base salary of £13,149).

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In what is believed to be a UK policing first, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has announced that new police constable recruits will now be able to join the service in a part-time role.  From November, new recruits will be able to complete their police training part-time and hit the streets of London in a part-time role.  http://news.met.police.uk/news/met-announces-that-police-constables-can-now-join-the-met-in-a-part-time-role-372263

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Do they need to change the regs to cover the pro-rata'd Probationary Period?

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31 minutes ago, Indiana Jones said:

Do they need to change the regs to cover the pro-rata'd Probationary Period?

It reads more like keeping people in work rather than new officers to be fair. If you have spent all that money, and invested all that time in someone you don't want to waste it.  Rather than have people leave, then come back 5 years later and apply with everyone else, and then have to start over totally again it seems more sensible to keep them on with reduced hours.

Parent has a kid, if they struggle or can't affird it they currently have to quit.  Why not keep them on 20ish hours a week, keep their skills up, keel getting a return on investment and then when/if they want to return to full time hours they'll have the option.  It works all over private industry and public organisations. 

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The lunatics have taken over the asylum. Perhaps Criminals throughout the country could stop committing crime over 24 hours.

 

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3 hours ago, Beaker said:

It reads more like keeping people in work rather than new officers to be fair. If you have spent all that money, and invested all that time in someone you don't want to waste it.  Rather than have people leave, then come back 5 years later and apply with everyone else, and then have to start over totally again it seems more sensible to keep them on with reduced hours.

Parent has a kid, if they struggle or can't affird it they currently have to quit.  Why not keep them on 20ish hours a week, keep their skills up, keel getting a return on investment and then when/if they want to return to full time hours they'll have the option.  It works all over private industry and public organisations. 

It’s already in regs to go part time. This is new recruits so could mean a 5 year probationary period. How’s training going to work too? It’s full time so would need 3 different timetables. 

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2 hours ago, SD said:

It’s already in regs to go part time. This is new recruits so could mean a 5 year probationary period. How’s training going to work too? It’s full time so would need 3 different timetables.  

I would expect they've already considered this, and decided on a plan for folks working part time.  As for training we're rolled out of the door after 16 days actual training time, and expected to self-study for it in our free time while in training.  I'd expect these officers will have a relatively heavy self study program to deal with as a lot of it isn't interactive training.  You don't need to actually sit in a big room these days while someone gives a lecture.  You can sit at home on the computer or tablet and listen to the same information delivered in the same way.  One of my friends pointed out that it was like being back at high school where the structured teaching was concerned. 

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Federation questions how part-time PC policy integrates into 'overstretched service facing unprecedented times'

But new scheme wins 'welcome' reviews for increasing the appeal and accessibility of policing as a career.

Changing times: From November, all new constable recruits will get the option to choose from full-or part-time

Changing times: From November, all new constable recruits will get the option to choose from full-or part-time

Date - 13th June 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle

 

Rank and file fears fresh demands imposed by allowing part-time constables into the ranks may impact on existing officers “already stretched beyond belief”.

Police federation leaders today questioned how the introduction of part-time PCs for the first time will work when the service is facing “unprecedented times” operating “thousands of officers short”.

Additional concerns revolve around a scheme that will be sorely tested dealing with a “massive incident” requiring police response at short notice.

National and London federations gave yesterday’s news of policing’s plans to sweep aside its “inflexible” image to a work versus family-life balance a guarded welcome.

The Met Police’s decision to change its recruitment policy to "break down barriers" deterring women from joining is being seen as a “positive” which increases the appeal and accessibility of policing as a career, and helps to further diversify the workforce.

From November, all new constable recruits will get the option to choose from full-time, part-time 24-hour or part-time 16-hour working patterns.

The Met believes it is the first force in the UK to offer these part-time positions and it follows research that shows full-time working hours deter women from considering a career in policing.

Met Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said: “Any scheme which helps us to recruit and retain more female police officers and colleagues from diverse communities is to be welcomed however we must not compromise, and should ensure that we continue to hire the best to be Metropolitan Police officers.”

But he added pointedly: “And that police regulations are adhered to.

“We have concerns over how – with a workforce already thousands of police officers short of where it should be – this new scheme will work when frankly there is a massive incident that requires officers to be called on at short notice.

“Police numbers matter. And therefore we are very wary over the demands that having an increased number of part-time colleagues will have on existing officers policing London during unprecedented times.

“They are already stretched beyond belief so we must make sure they are looked after and not overly burdened.”

It is hoped the planned changes will make police work more attractive to both men and women with family commitments and comes in the same year the Met is celebrating 100 years of women serving in its force.

Police Federation and England and Wales equality lead Peggy Lamont broadly welcomed the move at a time of depleting officer numbers, commenting: “When police numbers are plummeting it is imperative we are able to attract and retain adequate numbers of officers and this new policy will no doubt play a role in that.

“So, any initiative which increases the appeal and accessibility of policing as a career has to be a positive.” 

She added: “Hopefully this will enable the Met – and potentially other forces in future – to recruit more people who have caring responsibilities or other commitments which mean full-time employment is not possible for them; and help them to further diversify their workforce.

“Working with our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police Federation, I will monitor with interest how this initiative progresses, and hope that the positives from it can be replicated around the country to enable as many people as possible to embark on what is a unique and rewarding career.”

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All well and good, but will there be a danger that - being aimed at women - there will be a large proportion of night shifts and other unpopular duties that will need to be covered, probably in the main, by men, partnered or otherwise?

It happens at my work. When it comes to Christmas leave, we have the usual (sorry to say) females claiming first choice of dates because of their children. Understandable, but where does that leave the single males who would also like those dates themselves and have often had to cover when child has been sick and parent has stayed home?

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19 hours ago, Beaker said:

I would expect they've already considered this, and decided on a plan for folks working part time.  As for training we're rolled out of the door after 16 days actual training time, and expected to self-study for it in our free time while in training.  I'd expect these officers will have a relatively heavy self study program to deal with as a lot of it isn't interactive training.  You don't need to actually sit in a big room these days while someone gives a lecture.  You can sit at home on the computer or tablet and listen to the same information delivered in the same way.  One of my friends pointed out that it was like being back at high school where the structured teaching was concerned. 

If they’ve time to study at home, why not take on extra hours? Sounds poorly thought out to me. 

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4 minutes ago, SD said:

If they’ve time to study at home, why not take on extra hours? Sounds poorly thought out to me. 

Because you can't sit there with your kids in bed when you're sat in a police car. 

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It makes a farce of all full time officers. You either do the job or, you don't. There is already enough disruption and desent from full time officers with regard to part timers.

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12 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

It makes a farce of all full time officers. You either do the job or, you don't. There is already enough disruption and desent from full time officers with regard to part timers.

What is a farce is that there is so much resistance to any kind of change.  We're not in 1970 any more.  It isn't even that well paid any more when you take account of the shifts and the danger.

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1 hour ago, Beaker said:

Because you can't sit there with your kids in bed when you're sat in a police car. 

There’s an expectation that it will happen now with the new recruits in GMP. It doesn’t! Biggest culprits for not consolidating learning, finishing studies or completing Ncalts at home are those with families. Because the kids are rarely in bed on time and there’s always an issue.

For me it’s less about the change and more about the unforeseen circumstances  that will crop up as a result. I don’t think it will help and cause more issues than it will solve. One being a possible 5 years probation the regs are not set up to deal with.

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1 minute ago, SD said:

There’s an expectation that it will happen now with the new recruits in GMP. It doesn’t! Biggest culprits for not consolidating learning, finishing studies or completing Ncalts at home are those with families. Because the kids are rarely in bed on time and there’s always an issue.

For me it’s less about the change and more about the unforeseen circumstances  that will crop up as a result. I don’t think it will help and cause more issues than it will solve. One being a possible 5 years probation the regs are not set up to deal with. 

 

The failure to address training that isn't done, or isn't completed on time is surely an issue with supervision though?  I still manage to pack off my training courses, NCALTs etc with a kid, full time job, specials duties and spending time with the family.  Now I'm also starting to chase up other SCs, and help them with the completion of their training.  If I can roll that all together working 40 hours a week, plus duties, plus I'm the main carer for my Autistic child there is no excuse for someone to not do it when it is their main employment. 

When I was in initial training I had 2 days every two weeks on classroom/lectures/practical training, but I was still expected to back out about 8 hours a week on self-study. Again alongside all the other stuff I do (work, childcare etc etc).  My friend who was doing regs training at the same time had pretty much nothing to do at home.

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