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PC's Resignation Letter Claims Staff 'Not Coping' Amid 'A Total Lack Of Support'

It comes as a report reveals a 'national crisis' in policing.

02/03/2017 15:49 | Updated 02 March 2017

A police officer has written a powerful resignation letter saying she had to quit before the lack of resources and support on the job “kills me both physically and mentally”.

PC Laura Beal, who made her resignation letter to Devon and Cornwall Police public on Facebook, spoke out as an HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) report on Thursday revealed the UK police force was suffering a “national crisis”.

The report further noted that 46,000 people were being sought by police, of those 343 people were wanted in connections with murders and 1,012, for rape.

ITV
Pc Laura Beal has resigned from Devon and Cornwall Police claiming a 'total lack of support'

Beal wrote in the letter that it had “truly been an honour” to serve for 13 years but that the pressures of her role had left her suffering from stress, depression and anxiety.

She wrote that the force was “more like a business now in how we function in relation to finance and ‘customer’ relations, yet we are so far behind on employee rights”.

“Your staff are not coping, and are suffering because there is no one looking out for them,” Beal wrote in the letter addressed to the force’s chief constable Shaun Sawyer.

“Please take it from someone who has been personally affected and has been so low she has wondered what the point of it all is, and only through her friends and family been able to see that there is more to life than policing.

 

“Front line response is where you need to focus your time and money. This is where the buck stops.”

Beal, who followed in her father’s footsteps into policing, joining in 2004, said the “total lack of support both governmental and from the Chief Officer Group has made me lose all faith in the job I loved”.

Devon and Cornwell Police
Beal in a picture that featured on the Devon and Cornwell Police annual report in 2011/2012

In the letter Beal explained that she was expected to go on patrol as a response officer covering mid-Devon with just one other officer most days.

“This is meant to be adequate staffing and safe,” she wrote.

“How this can be acceptable is beyond belief. I have always worked to the best of my ability as I had pride in what I did. This however is not possible any more.”

She added: “I am leaving before this job kills me both physically and mentally.

“I am not only sad because I see what is potentially an amazing career get ruined by hypocrisy and lack of funding; but also because I know I am not the only one going through this and not everyone that needs the help and support will be as lucky as I am to be able to leave.”

Beal called on the chief constable to make the situation better for her colleagues, saying she wanted “so much for their lives to get better”.

“It is your responsibility to make this right; the front line needs more officers, leadership and managerial support,” she said.

The Facebook post has been shared nearly 200 times and has over 300 comments, a number of them from other former officers who said they left for similar reasons.

Devon and Cornwall Police responded to the letter on Thursday afternoon with Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell saying he was “sympathetic” to Beal’s reasons for leaving the force.  

“I would like to formally thank PC Beal for her loyal service, hearing of an officer resigning is sad, particularly when this is done so publically,” he wrote in a post on the force’s Facebook page. 

“We do hear concerns from officers and staff and recognise where they are feeling the strain. We acknowledge that these are issues undoubtedly have an impact on staff wellbeing.”

 

Colwell said that staff wellness is a “priority” and Devon and Cornwell Police have a series of initiatives in place to “assist such as a peer support network, a counselling service and we have implemented the Blue Light programme developed by mental health charity Mind, aimed at emergency services staff”.

He continued: “Last month the Chief Constable announced that, through additional budget provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner, we will be employing nearly 100 additional police officers onto the streets and into local policing, as well as 50 criminal investigators and 30 online record takers. The extra 100 police officers will bring the total number back up to 3,000 and should help to relieve the pressure.

“Being a police officer is not easy. It requires skills and personal resilience which are often unique to the role. We are a supportive Force and will always assist an officer needing help or guidance.”

PS Laura Beal’s resignation letter:

To Chief Constable Shaun SAWYER,
I am Police Constable 6552 Laura BEAL on Response covering MID-DEVON and I am writing this to you to inform you that as of this date; Tuesday 28th February 2017 I am resigning my post as Police Constable.

This will be my 13th year as a Police Constable as this has been my life since I was 19 years old. I am sure that what I am about to say will not be knew information to you, but I feel I owe it to myself and my colleagues to tell you my reasons for leaving.


I joined in 2004 having followed in my father’s footsteps and was so proud to call myself a Police Officer, however as my career has progressed the total lack of support both governmental and from the Chief Officer Group has made me lose all faith in the job I loved.

I am expected to go on patrol covering MID-DEVON with one other officer most days and this is meant to be adequate staffing and safe. How this can be acceptable is beyond belief. I have always worked to the best of my ability as I had pride in what I did. This however is not possible any more.
As a result of the way I have been treated within this organisation I have to undergo Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as I now suffer with anxiety, depression and stress. I would rather take the massive pay cut and quit than spend one day longer in a job that is making me ill.

I am and was a good Police Officer and you are losing more and more every day, only to be replaced by new recruits who have little to no people skills however are able to answer exams effectively. I have seen Police Officers who are completely incompetent get promoted because it’s been too difficult for higher management to manage them so promoting them and moving them is the easy option. I have also seen incredible supervisors in their roles be moved because a space needed filling.

I am sure you have bigger and more important things to be doing than listen to what seems to be a standard resignation letter from an upset employee, but I implore you to please hear this; Your staff are not coping, and are suffering because there is no one looking out for them. Please take it from someone who has been personally affected and has been so low she has wondered what the point of it all is, and only through her friends and family been able to see that there is more to life than Policing. Front line response is where you need to focus your time and money. This is where the buck stops. We are always called upon when things need doing and when things go wrong in every department.

I was one of the lucky ones and have had the personal support at home to get out however there are so many that are unable to do so because they are either alone or financially dependent on the organisation.
We are more like a business now in how we function in relation to finance and ‘customer’ relations, yet we are so far behind on employee rights.

I am leaving before this job kills me both physically and mentally. I am not only sad because I see what is potentially an amazing career get ruined by hypocrisy and lack of funding; but also because I know I am not the only one going through this and not everyone that needs the help and support will be as lucky as I am to be able to leave.

I have so many I people I love still in the job and I want so much for their lives to get better and you have the power to make that possible. It is your responsibility to make this right; the front line needs more officers, leadership and managerial support.

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