World: Police pay erosion hitting recruitment, says chief

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The erosion of pay for police officers is hindering the recruitment of new officers into the force on the Isle of Man, the chief constable has warned.

Gary Roberts said potential recruits were put off by the starting salary of police officers © BBC Gary Roberts said potential recruits were put off by the starting salary of police officers

Gary Roberts said the constabulary's annual summer recruitment exercise "failed completely because of pay".

Mr Roberts said wages had fallen by 20% in real terms over the past decade as a result of increases in Manx inflation.

The starting salary for new recruits stands at about £24,000, with pay rises linked to those in England and Wales

Mr Roberts said although staffing levels "were where they normally are in August", there would be a shortfall in the winter months as it would take 10 months to train any officers who applied to join during future recruitment drives.

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As a result, the force was now "looking to bring some transferee officers in" to bolster numbers.

'Real issue'

The chief constable said although he understood that teachers and nurses and other professionals had the "same issues" and many people were "struggling to live", for the police force it was becoming a "real issue".

"When we have a police force that can't recruit, and if we have a police force where officers simply can't afford to live properly, there are all manner of threats there and that's not a good thing," he added.

"Police pay has been linked to England and Wales since 1948, so the decisions that have been made that have caused a 20% reduction in pay for police officers is not decisions the Manx government has made," Mr Roberts said.

"But the consequence of that pay parity for 70-odd years is now being seen.

"We can sell the constabulary as a great place to work and an exciting place to work… but that doesn't pay the bills."

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