Police quit Scotland in droves to live the Aussie dream

The tinnie blue line! Police quit Scotland in droves to live the Aussie dream

  • More than 100 officers have applied to join cops Down Under amid warnings of an exodus from Police Scotland 

More than 100 officers have applied to join a single force in Australia amid warnings of a mass exodus from Police Scotland, the Mail can reveal.

The huge contingent all submitted applications to Western Australia Police in the past year.

The force, which is based in East Perth, launched an international recruitment drive targeting applicants from the UK, Ireland and New Zealand in October 2022.

Its commissioner, Col Blanch, said he wanted ‘skilled, experienced constables to work on the frontline to help cover the biggest policing jurisdiction in the world’.

Police Scotland is in the midst of a recruitment freeze

There have already been 750 applications to join the Western Australia Police Force, and five Scots officers work there already

Western Australia Police Force has so far received 750 applications, with five Scottish police officers having already started work.

David Threadgold, chair of the Scottish Police Federation, representing rank-and-file officers, said: ‘For 100 serving Police Scotland officers to look for alternative employment in a single Australian police force should be a stark warning to the Scottish Government, the Scottish Police Authority and the police service of Scotland as to the situation we currently face.

‘We are in the midst of a recruitment freeze and officers are being stretched to the limit. Our own dialogue with officers leaving the service suggests the three main causes are pension changes, resourcing levels and workload.’

He added: ‘I fully expect similar challenges will exist in Australia, but as long as Police Scotland remains chronically underfunded by the Scottish Government, and without significant internal reform, we will continue to nurture a situation where our officers will consider taking the plunge Down Under.’

Those who apply to Western Australia Police Force’s recruitment scheme can go on a pathway towards Australian citizenship, which otherwise can be difficult to acquire.

Police Scotland warned earlier this month that without a funding boost of £128million, officer numbers could fall by almost 1,500 – equal to around 6.4 per cent of the total.

The force, however, rejected claims that it is struggling to retain officers.

A spokesman said: ‘As with all sectors, people leave policing for all sorts of reasons. However, retention levels within Police Scotland are very high compared with other organisations.

‘The proportion of officers leaving through resignation has been falling every year and an internal survey found high levels of job satisfaction.’

Scottish Tory justice spokesman Russell Findlay said: ‘It’s little wonder so many Scottish police officers are being tempted to quit and move to the other side of the world, given the drastic impact of the SNP’s mismanagement of Scottish policing.’

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘The rate of voluntary resignations among officers in Scotland is around half that of officers in England and Wales.’

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