A record number of police officers voluntarily resigned from the force in North Yorkshire last year, new figures show.

The North Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation says nationwide issues including increasing demand and over a decade of “ever diminishing” pay and conditions is “undermining the ability” of forces to retain a highly skilled workforce.

Home Office figures show 50 full-time police officers voluntarily left North Yorkshire Police in the year to March. It is up from 41 the year before and the highest number since records began in 2006-07.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Alverton Court, North Yorkshire Police headquartersAlverton Court, North Yorkshire Police headquarters (Image: Dan Bean)

Including officers who retired or were fired, a total of 108 left the force last year.

It meant North Yorkshire Police had a leavers rate of 6.8 per cent, excluding transfers to other forces.

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Across England and Wales, a record high 4,575 full-time officers voluntarily resigned from policing last year. It was a 33 per cent increase from 3,433 in 2021-22.

'demand has increased beyond resource'

Rob Bowles, chair of the Police Federation’s North Yorkshire branch, said it was “saddening” to see the number of North Yorkshire Police Officers that were leaving the service.

“North Yorkshire Police officers are working diligently and professionally to protect the public but demand has continued to increase beyond resource,” he said.  

“With police officers facing a 17 per cent real terms pay cut since 2010 we must work towards pay restoration to ensure that we retain our highly skilled and dedicated workforce.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: A record number of police officers voluntarily resigned from North Yorkshire Police last yearA record number of police officers voluntarily resigned from North Yorkshire Police last year (Image: Newsquest)

While the turnover rate was at its highest, it was met by a joiners rate of 11.1 per cent.

It meant the headcount for all forces increased from 140,200 officers in March 2022 to 147,400 in March of this year.

North Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Elliot Foskett said: “We would much rather retain our valued and experienced officers but we do recognise that there will always be changes to people’s personal circumstances which mean they want to take a different career path.

“Policing is a tough profession which can be very stressful and has been increasingly so over recent years.”

He said the force has put more measures in place to support the welfare of officers and staff who face these challenges.

New police officers continue to be recruited

ACC Foskett added that new recruits continue to progress through their training which is relieving pressure on existing officers as staff numbers grow.   

In North Yorkshire Police, the force grew from 1,587 officers in 2022 to 1,672 in 2023.

Mr Bowles said the national uplift is a “step in the right direction” but feared it “only places us slightly above the officer numbers that we had in 2010”.

“Meanwhile demand has significantly increased, with many other services’ funding being cut the police service has had to pick up and deal with problems that would have been dealt with by other agencies,” he added.

“The UK population has also grown and 2010 police numbers are no longer sufficient to deal with 2023 demand.

“A combination of increasing demand and its associated pressures, along with over a decade of ever diminishing pay and conditions is undermining the ability of forces to retain its highly skilled workforce.”