To stay or go? A study of police officer turnover data and the drivers behind the decision to remain in or leave the Police Service

Bennett, N. (2016) To stay or go? A study of police officer turnover data and the drivers behind the decision to remain in or leave the Police Service. M.Sc. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


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The main aim of this paper was to explore changing police officer turnover patterns within the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), as well as to gain a broader understanding as to the motivations behind remaining in service or taking the decision to resign voluntarily. A quantitative approach was taken to assist with the understanding and interpretation of turnover data, with the results being interpreted in light of previous literature with an emphasis on the influence of demographic factors. The results indicated that the MPS has seen a slighter higher than average voluntary turnover rate in the last three years compare to other Police Forces across England and Wales. Overall voluntarily turnover has increased, with female turnover significantly higher than male turnover, BME turnover has increased but this is not significantly higher than the average voluntarily turnover rate. The exploration of the motivations behind an officer’s decision making process required a qualitative approach. Nine officers who had voluntary resigned from the police service as well as nine serving officers who had considered resigning but decided to remain were interviewed. The motivating factors leading to dissatisfaction for former and serving officers were broadly the same; pay, pensions and conditions, lack of opportunity, lack of support and increased pressure. However the current research indicates that the decision making process and the way individuals assess the impact of these changes is different for former and serving officers. These differences are potentially linked to an individual’s original motivations for joining the Police Service.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV7551-8280.7 Police. Detectives. Constabulary
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2016 12:36
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 12:36

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00