August 8, 2023 8.10 pm This story is over 7 months old

Lincolnshire Police staff numbers decrease overall despite recruitment drive

Still at the highest number of officers since 2020

The number of bobbies on the beat in Lincolnshire is down marginally, despite extra recruitment funding for the local force and a big push to hire more staff.

Home Office data shows that 82 police officers left Lincolnshire Police last year, with 90 stepping in to take their place.

However, despite national fears over recruitment and the number of officers leaving forces across the country, local policing leaders appear confident in their ability to recruit new staff.

The data paints a detailed picture of the workforce dynamics within Lincolnshire Police. Between April 2022 and March 2023, the force welcomed 90 new joiners, all of whom were police constables.

This resulted in a joiners rate of 7.5%. On the flip side, the force saw 82 leavers, translating to a leavers rate of 6.8%.

The roles of the leavers spanned from Chief Officers to constables, with a significant majority leaving voluntarily.

Despite the high turnover rate, the force slightly decreased in size from 1,151 officers in 2022 to 1,146 in 2023.

Historically, the force’s numbers have seen fluctuations. In 2023, there were 1,146 officers, comprising 1,058 FTE frontline staff, 54 frontline support, and 34 business support staff.

  • In 2022, these figures were 1,151 officers with 1,076 frontline staff, 48 frontline support, and 27 business support staff.
  • Going further back, in 2021 the figures were 1,102 officers with 1,057 frontline staff, 30 frontline support, and 15 business support staff.
  • In 2010, the force had 1,161 officers with 1,092 frontline staff, 51 frontline support, and 18 business support staff.
  • The year with the lowest police officer numbers was 2020, with figures standing at 1,015 officers, comprising 940 frontline staff, 54 frontline support, and 21 business support staff.

In April this year, Lincolnshire Police celebrated after saying it had hired 166 new officers since 2021, as part of the government’s drive to recruit 20,000 more across the country.

Charley Rimmer, Director of People Services at Lincolnshire Police, said: “We have met our target of recruiting 166 officers as part of the government’s national uplift programme for England and Wales.

“Policing is an excellent career opportunity, but one that requires applicants who possess the very highest of standards.

“Our current vetting standards are in place to ensure we recruit the very best people to serve Lincolnshire.

“Given that the demands of protecting the public and making a difference to our communities naturally involves considerable challenges at times, we also offer benefits including a dedicated health and care team, financial wellbeing support, and various staff recognition and reward offers.”

Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones at the launch of the force’s Roads Policing Unit. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Marc Jones, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner, commented: “The Conservative government’s drive to put more police officers on the streets has made a significant difference to the policing service of residents in Lincolnshire and they deserve huge credit for reaching, and even surpassing, the 20,000 national target.

“Additional funding provided by the government, along with support from Lincolnshire taxpayers, has allowed me to strengthen our front line policing substantially, and led to the creation of new roads policing and rural crime units, reinforce public protection teams and bolster our 101/999 operating functions.

“This has meant critical improvements to our policing and helped me to work with the Chief Constable to keep our communities safe. But that does not mean that there are no challenges ahead.

“There are still very real problems with the way Lincolnshire is funded and I’m working hard with colleagues in Whitehall to address this fundamental issue.”

On a national scale, Steve Hartshorn, the Federation’s National Chair, highlighted that the number of officers voluntarily resigning is at its highest across England and Wales.

He stressed the importance of not only recruiting but also retaining officers, which he believes can only be achieved through improved pay and conditions.

This recruitment in Lincolnshire has been bolstered with 23 officers being funded by council tax.

According to figures in April, nationally, an additional 20,951 police officers have been recruited since the start of the Uplift programme in 2021, bringing numbers back to similar levels as in 2010.

The Home Office data showed that the headcount for all forces increased from 140,200 officers in March 2022 to 147,400 in March of this year.