Saturday, 15 November 2008

Mother Cops

I think that about 50% of new recruits are female. Has anybody in the forward planning department actually recognised that the majority of these new female recruits end up in operational policing in the early stages of their careers? Alot of them also get pregnant.

Corporate risk assessments state that expectant mothers should be removed from operational roles straight away. Thereafter any public contact should be strictly limited to things like partner meetings. In reality this means that an officer is lost from the streets for about a year, assuming they return after maternity leave. No replacement, unless they are temporarily removed from your strength. This is also the same for PCSO's.

I am full of praise for those woman officers with children who manage to juggle the demands of family life with a police career. I don't know how they do it, especially those on response. If the political diversity quota gurus want a police service visibly reflective of society in percentage terms then perhaps they should be recruiting 60% females, because alot of the present 50% disappear pretty quickly.

I just got my team back together after being short all year. This lasted about 4 weeks. I've now lost another one for a year. There is no way I can achieve results without staff to do the work, so I have decided to move on and look for another role elsewhere.

I don't want this to sound like a sexist rant, it's not, I've contributed to the problem myself in the past. It's an operational rant at my level because my team is now ineffective and no jiggling in work force planning will take place to change the situation.


Damo Mackerel said...

' I've contributed to the problem myself in the past.'

What you got pregnant! I thought you were a man?

Stressed Out Cop said...


My contribution only lasted a few minutes - Mrs Stressed did the hard work. She wasn't operational and wore a suit anyway so pregnancy didn't affect her role too much.

Damo Mackerel said...

'My contribution only lasted a few minutes'.

Ha ha ha. You gave too much away there! Once I was called superman. I was real chuffed until she added: 'faster than a speeding bullet'.

MarkUK said...

It's not only in the police, of course, that pregnancy causes issues. Anywhere that employs women between the ages of 16-35 will see this as an issue.

I used to work in an analytical laboratory. As we were analysing raw meats and other things like faeces, and were using some interesting solvents (like chloroform), pregnant women could do none of this work.

The only analysis they were allowed to do was trace metals - no organic solvents, and the material has been reduced to ash before they get it. That was full time work for an analyst. Then a second one would get pregnant!

Where I work now, we have to be careful with pregnant women. No environment that is too hot or too cold, no solvents nor adhesives etc etc. I'm the Safety Officer, so I have to do the risk assessments.

We're only a fairly small company (ca. 110 people) so having three women on maternity leave (as we have at the moment) has an effect. As they're all from the same department, it leaves that area 10% short of staff.

Women need time off to have children. Companies, small companies in particular, need their workforce to be at work. How do we square that circle?

Incidentally, I have immense respect for women who manage to do a shift job, particularly one where the finish time is not guaranteed, when they have young children.

Stressed Out Cop said...


Oh yeah the risk assessment - I had to do that too - many hours of reading up and form filling.

Of course if alternative work is not possible the only option is suspended on full pay. Pity you re the Biological section. I was tempted re the state of our keyboards, but it was easier to restrict to office work - non-shifts.

Big difference in public sector me - thinks. If we ran like private sector would come as an almighty shock to many including me. We are very inefficient.

MarkUK said...

Hi Stressed,

Our latest pregnant lass was a bit of a problem. She's high-risk - history of miscarriage etc.

She's also Polish with only basic English. Her partner (not husband, therefore not next of kin) had to translate.

However, her consultant has now come to our aid. He's put her on the sick until after the birth.

BTW, is your surname double barrelled (Out-Cop) or is Out your middle name?

Stressed Out Cop said...


I love the Poles - jointly manned my squadron when I was in the mob.

I'm not an OUT cop in the way I think you suggest.

I'm in the stressed closet