ent Police has launched a campaign to try and stop its experienced officers being “poached” by the Met.
Scotland Yard offers experienced officers a £5,000 joining bonus, with Kent Police saying 70 of its police officers had expressed an interest in leaving the force in favour of the Met’s bonus.
Kent Chief Constable, Alan Pughsley, said the number of his officers wanting to transfer was “exceptional” and said the force was launching a ‘Keep it Kent campaign’ in a bid to reduce the numbers transferring.
He told BBC Radio Kent around 20 officers transferred out of the force on average, with another 15 transferring in each year.
He said: “Officers do move around police forces, but this number is exceptional. I’m losing experienced officers.”
The force’s new campaign will involve increasing the cost-of-living allowance from £2,500 to £3,000, and a new forum where officers can ask for job swaps within the county.
He added: “Whether it be one-to-ones or group sessions, we’re speaking to all the officers just to make sure there’s nothing more we can do to keep them.”
A group of Police and Crime Commissioners, who are elected to oversee local forces, had previously written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to protest at the £5,000 bonus offering, saying it would “do nothing to strengthen public safety as a whole, including London’s”.
In a letter from March, a group of eight PCCs from across neighbouring areas said that they felt the Met was using its greater funding than other forces to poach officers to meet recruitment targets.
“We consider this will have a significant impact on our forces as well as future trust in the Met,” they said.
Scotland Yard is trying to recruit 4,000 officers by March 2023.
The Standard has contacted the Met Police for comment.
A spokesperson for the Mayor said Sadiq Khan “makes no apology for standing up for London and supports the Met in recruiting and retaining the talented and experienced officers”.
The spokesperson said: “The cost of living crisis is affecting all of our hard-working and dedicated police officers as they work day and night to keep us all safe and the mayor agrees they should be appropriately rewarded.”