Vic police covid control

Victoria Police Have Trouble Finding New Recruits

18 January 2023

1.8 MINS

1 in 9 officers have quit the Victorian police force since 2019. Perhaps the conduct of the organisation during the pandemic has caused the public to lose trust as well as interest in joining its service.

Victorian police have begun a massive recruitment drive in a frantic bid to replace the 1 in 9 officers who have quit the force since 2019.

A report in the Herald Sun claimed police recruiters were in the process of recontacting around 40,000 people who had, at one time or other over the past six years, flirted with the idea of joining the police force to see if they might still be interested.

They were even reaching out to people whose applications had been rejected to see if they might want to have another crack.

How to explain the dearth of potential recruits?

State Control

We all know the labour market is tight, but you have to wonder if the overbearing Covid laws, enforced by Victorian police over the past couple of years, have anything to do with it.

When the police force is seen as a tool of government, rather than as an opportunity to serve and protect family, friends and the broader community, its appeal surely starts to wane.

One of my son’s mates told me he was hoping to join the police after school. When I asked why, he replied: “I think I’m pretty good at talking to people who are upset or who need help. I’m good at calming people down.”

The kid will make an excellent police officer if he chooses to pursue that career.

But it’s pretty obvious what he does NOT have in mind is arresting pregnant women for Facebook posts, herding children away from playgrounds, pepper-spraying grannies in the park, or shooting peaceful protestors with rubber bullets.

Zoe Buhler

Is it really a surprise that Victoria Police are having trouble attracting new recruits?

Crying Foul

The police have never apologised for their heavy-handed treatment of the public during Victoria’s long lockdown. Police chief Shane Patton did, however, tell the Herald Sun that he felt “bruised” by the “tricky time” he experienced during the pandemic. Probably not as bruised as those citizens shot with rubber bullets. But we know what he meant.

Vic police covid control

The overwhelming majority of police do an outstanding job under what are no doubt often trying circumstances. They deserve our appreciation and support.

But after two years of being used to enforce draconian lockdowns and senseless restrictions on the general public, there is clearly some work still to be done to restore their image as servants of the people rather than as a strong arm of the political class.


Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

Subscribe to his Substack here for daily witty commentary.
Photo: Erik Anderson/AAP


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  1. Kaylene Emery 18 January 2023 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Are you sure about those numbers James, only one in nine ?

  2. Jim Twelves 18 January 2023 at 9:50 am - Reply

    James, thank you for bringing this to the light. It is so important for Victorians to know about this ‘crisis’ of Andrew’s own making. I am so proud of the officers who have chosen to walk away and now have to navigate a new career for themselves and their families.
    Let’s pray that the scales can come off the ‘powers that be’s’ eyes so that they can see the folly of their ways. Victoria ‘was’ a great place but to have to rebuild after ‘the war’ is going to take a long time.

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