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Almost every police force in England and Wales has shut its doors to new recruits, research published by Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls reveals today.

A survey of police force recruitment websites and hotlines shows that 39 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales have frozen recruitment of officers completely. 2 confirm that they are not currently accepting applications and one force is only currently seeking an internal transfer. One force, Surrey, says it is ‘seeking to hear from like minded individuals who are interested in a police career’, but is only currently advertising vacancies for PCSOs.

Several police forces explicitly state that the recruitment freeze is a direct result of the Spending Review. The survey is being published as Home Office figures uncovered by Ed Balls show that almost 6,000 police officers retire or resign each year. Shadow home secretary

Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, Ed Balls said:

“To deal with the speed and scale of the government’s twenty per cent funding cuts almost every police force has already been forced to take the drastic measure of stopping all new recruitment.

“This is an early sign that the spending review will hit frontline policing hard. Around 6,000 police officers retire or resign each year, but if deep cuts mean they can’t be replaced with new recruits then I fear we’re going to see the thin blue line stretched to breaking point.

“The Home Secretary’s claims that the cuts will not affect frontline policing are becoming more laughable by the day. With the biggest cuts being demanded by the government in the first two years, forces are finding they cannot protect frontline policing by making long-term efficiency savings.

“The 1500 police officers Greater Manchester is set to lose are just the tip of the iceberg. Every police force in the country has been put in an impossible position by this government’s reckless cuts.”

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