South Australian police struggle to recruit officers



South Australian police have cancelled three cadet training courses as the force struggles to recruit new officers.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says it’s no secret that recruiting new staff has been an issue recently, leaving the force understaffed.

The three cancelled courses are equal to about 90 new positions.

“That’s a concern to us, but it’s not something that is unique to South Australia,” Mr Stevens told reporters on Monday.

“Every jurisdiction is struggling with recruiting at the moment and we’re all having a look at what the causative factors are.”

Mr Stevens said every effort was being made to ensure the best level of service was still being provided across SA.

He said low unemployment was one factor weighing on recruitment issues, amid a labour market that favoured employees.

“They can select what vocations they want to go into,” he said.

“There’s a wealth of opportunities and every industry, every sector is looking for new people.

“We’re no different to that.”

Emergency Services Minister Joe Szakacs said the government had established a task force to examine police staffing and would take recommendations from senior officers and experts.

“We’ll get outcomes here. We’ll get recommendations to ensure a properly resourced police force well into the future,” he said.

“I want to see more police recruited. It’s a great job, it’s a great career.”

But opposition police spokesman Tim Whetstone said issues with police staffing had come at a time when crime rates were rising.

“We’ve known for months that SAPOL is under immense staff shortage pressure,” he said.

“So why hasn’t Labor stepped up and provided the resources needed to boost frontline services and protect South Australians?”


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