Row erupts over Met Police attempts to poach officers with £5k payment

The police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley has hit out at the Met Police over its proposals to poach officers with a £5,000 signing-on fee.

The Met has announced it will be offering a one-off cash payment to serving police constables who sign up from other forces in the UK.

The move comes as the capital’s police service aims to recruit 4,000 new officers by March 2023.

Matthew Barber, police and crime commissioner for the Thames Valley, said the Met’s recruitment tactics will not make the country a safer place.

He said: “This doesn’t attract anyone new in, it simply takes it from other people and puts them into London.

“Simply trying to take officers from Thames Valley and other forces to fill a quota this year might mean they get their numbers but it doesn’t do anything to attract police officers or make us safer as a country.”

Mr Barber said the move could weaken police forces such as in Thames Valley.

He added: “If we lose officers into the Met, that’s taxpayers’ money in the Thames Valley which has been spent training those officers.

“It will take more time to recruit more officers.

“We want those officers on the streets here, it’s not as if we’ve got police officers spare.

“Any that we lose will have an impact on operational policing in Thames Valley and inevitably create a delay and a cost to us.”

The police and crime commissioner said Thames Valley Police could not compete with the money being offered by the Met.

But he said TVP is reviewing the pay of its staff and awaiting an announcement from the Home Office on potential pay rises for police officers.

Clare Davies, director of resources at the Met Police, said: “The additional measures we have introduced are all targeted at making the Met competitive in the London job market at a time when all police forces and a number of other sectors are recruiting.

“We will be doing everything we can whilst we have the funding to encourage the best of the best to join us. We will also continue to press hard for a fair pay award for all our officers so that we remain an attractive employer.”

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