In response to a series of Rule 14 questions, the Committee for Home Affairs has revealed it spent more than half-a-million pounds on police overtime in 2021, while successfully accommodating critical training needs.
Deputy Adrian Gabriel asked Home Affairs for an update on Bailiwick Law Enforcement (BLE) staffing issues. It followed a press release in 2021 where BLE said it was bringing in UK police officers to cover staff shortages and allow local officers to undertake specialist training.
Deputy Gabriel asked: “in 2021 Bailiwick Law Enforcement issued a media release which stated ‘with the current staff levels (136 police officers employed as of 22/09/2021), it is not possible to both maintain required staff levels operationally and still fulfil these training needs’.
“It was subsequently agreed to second officers to BLE on a temporary basis for two, 3-month periods. The second period expires on 31st March 2022. What are the further plans to increase the force to the agreed minimum amount of 150 set in the Frontline Operating Model?”
The President of HA, Deputy Rob Prow, said the short-term secondments successfully allowed for critical training to take place.
Pictured: Deputy Prow said: “there are 209 Police staff, of which 136 are warranted Police officers, in addition there are currently 7 student officers”.
Deputy Prow said: “a number of highly visible recruitment campaigns both on and off island have taken place, a competitive labour market has meant it continues to prove difficult to recruit, efforts are ongoing.
“The challenges in recruiting Police Officers are replicated nationally. As a further short-term measure, a request was made to secure five secondees to cover the period between 2nd May 2022 – 30th September 2022.”
Deputy Prow also said that the number of officers required to maintain the current level of service delivery remains 150 warranted officers. Guernsey currently has 136 warranted officers.
Pictured: BLE had an underspend of £840,000 in 2021 due to job vacancies.
Deputy Gabriel asked for the consequences of operating below the number needed to fulfil BLE’s ‘frontline operating model’ (FOL).
“As noted above the ‘frontline operating model’ determines the number of officers required to maintain the current level of service delivery and is an effective way to match resources to the demand for services,” said Deputy Prow.
“Resources are deployed in line with risk and threat and there is no risk to public safety due to the current number of officers. This resource prioritisation continues, and the reallocation of duties will be made where required.
“Independent inspections indicate that the Force is covering its responsibilities, however this could not be maintained without careful management of available resources, this means an organisation that constantly reviews its performance in-line with an agreed model, not an arbitrary staff level.”
Pictured: “I was also keen to learn exactly how many operational warranted staff are in our police force against the published frontline operating model minimum requirement of 150,” said Deputy Gabriel.
Deputy Gabriel said he was grateful to the Committee for Home Affairs for answering his questions.
“While I support them in what must be a challenging time, and recognise that it must be a nationwide issue, it’s encouraging to know that public safety is not compromised or put at risk, but this must surely put extreme pressures on existing operational staff affecting their morale and mental health.
“I was surprised to read that over £500,000 was spent in overtime and secondee payments in 2021.”
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