An increasing number of Australian police are seeking out a life outside the law, but are left with a choice between paying for their own training and doing the jobs they want to do.
A new report commissioned by the ABC has found that a growing number of police are facing a “financial dilemma” as they struggle to find new recruits and find the right roles for them.
The study also found a growing shortage of qualified candidates, with many of those who are offered positions either do not know they are eligible or don’t think they are suitable.
“In some cases, the recruitment is not conducted in a way that would be in the best interests of the person being recruited,” the report said.
“There is a sense of frustration, a sense that this is a process that has been slow and difficult.”
A growing shortageOf those surveyed, almost half said they had lost jobs as a result of their lack of experience.
The report found the “number of people working in the police service who are now eligible to join the ranks of the police” was decreasing.
But the government has taken a different approach to recruit the right people.
Key points:The report found Australia has a “growing shortage” of qualified police recruitsSource: ABC Fact Check”It’s not a good sign, and it’s not the right time to recruit,” Public Safety Minister Steven Ciobo said in a statement.
“This report highlights the challenges we face in attracting the best and the brightest to the police, and I believe the Government needs to make clear the challenges facing the force and provide a plan for addressing them.”
He said he would work with the states to address the problem, adding: “The police are the first line of defence and we have to do our part to get them back on the road to recovery.”
The number of Australians who are unemployed rose by more than 5,000 last year, to more than 18 million, while the number of people who have been dismissed by police rose by almost 2,000.
The report also found there was a “significant lack of knowledge and awareness of the skills that are required for police service careers”.
“The skills of the future police officers we need are not being taught in schools and not being learned in the classroom, it’s the kind of knowledge that’s been lost to time and has not been incorporated into our curriculum,” Professor James Kelleher, the report’s author, said.
It said while some police forces were “doing a good job” of training new recruits, the vast majority were still not being prepared for what they would be asked to do once they joined the force.
“The recruitment of police recruits requires a strong, well-developed professional and cultural background that will enable them to deal with a range of roles, from traffic enforcement to counter-terrorism,” Professor Kelleh said.