Police recruitment crisis: State’s thin blue line just got a whole lot thinner

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has added just 260 frontline officers to its ranks in two years, prompting the union’s president Ian Leavers to call for a trans-Tasman recruitment drive to avert a “crisis point”.

Sep 30, 2022, updated Sep 30, 2022

The Queensland Police Union boss has warned “basic community safety demands” may not be met if numbers of frontline officers cannot be found to replace those exiting the force.

Figures provided by the QPS show that since July 1, 2020, 791 police officers have left the service at a time when 1051 new recruits joined the ranks.

The net gain of 260 is causing high anxiety among senior recruitment planners who fear they will fall well short of the state government’s target of 1450 extra police officers by 2025 promised at the last election.

A QPS spokesperson said the service was undertaking its largest recruiting campaign ever conducted to meet the target.

As August 31 this year, there were 12,327 sworn police officers serving in the QPS.

Leavers told InQueensland that the current approach was not working and needed an urgent re-think if the ranks of police were to be replenished at a rate acceptable to the community.

“Every state, territory in Australia and New Zealand is currently well behind in their projected recruitment figures and we are rapidly heading towards a crisis point where the number of police on the frontline may not meet basic community safety demands,” he said.

“The police associations and unions of Australia along with New Zealand are taking the initiative to find options to stimulate police recruitment. We cannot enter into a cycle of coercing existing police to swap jurisdictions to satisfy one area’s recruitment statistics.”

In his dual role as Police Federation of Australia president, Leavers will convene a one-day ‘blue initiative’ in coming weeks to draw together what he calls the most creative private recruitment firms, workforce analysts, police commissioners, police ministers, First Nations elders and frontline police.

He said federal Employment Minister Tony Burke and Attorney General Mark Dreyfus would also be asked to contribute based on their experience at the recent National Jobs Summit.

He said he was determined to chart a strategy of cross border co-operation to recruitment.

“I want to see practical ideas that can be rapidly put into place to get people into this outstanding career serving the community,” he said.

“However, we will never support a reduction in entry standards, training and assessments.

“The police who serve must always be the best trained and equipped to ensure their safety and public confidence.”











Local News Matters

We strive to deliver the best local independent coverage of the issues that matter to Queenslanders.

Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy