Latest figures showing an alarming increase in the number of experienced police officers leaving the force should act as an urgent wake-up call for the Cook Labor Government, according to Shadow Police Minister Peter Collier.
While a record 473 police officers resigned last year, the latest breakdown shows almost 200 of those had more than 10 years’ experience.
Further, of the 202 officers that have already resigned this year, half had also served a decade or more.
“This latest breakdown shows a concerning exodus of experienced officers, particularly Senior Constables and Sergeants, leaving the force,” Mr Collier said.
“The effect of the loss of this experience from our police force and our community is highly concerning and has a huge impact on the operations of local stations.
“The complex issues that new recruits must confront every single day mean that they must be supported by experienced officers.
“These figures clearly indicate that the Police Minister’s rhetoric that ‘the worst is behind us’ is abject nonsense.”
The high level of resignations comes on the back of record crime figures, and a reduction in the number of officers dedicated to domestic violence incidents.
“The Police Minister’s default position on the mass resignations is always to point to them leaving for ‘better opportunities’ which is garbage.
“The bulk of resignations aren’t made up from young constables. Rather, they are experienced officers who feel that their only option is to resign.
“The Minister’s solution is to poach bobbies from England which is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken arm.
“He simply must commit to improving the working conditions of our local officers to stem the tsunami of resignations.”
Mr Collier said the WA Labor government’s commitment to increase the number of police on our streets by 950 by June 2024 seemed like an impossible task.
“The figures show the overall headcount has gone down from 6927 in June 2021 to 6835 in June 2023.
“In addition, there are almost 200 vacancies throughout WA, most of which are in the regional parts of the state.
“Until this government takes its head out of the sand and addresses the culture and conditions within the workforce, this exodus will unfortunately continue.”