Over 300 former Met officers have so far answered the call to return to serve London and support their former colleagues during this unprecedented time.
Just over a week after the Commissioner, Cressida Dick appealed to officers who had retired from the Met within the last five years to return, a total of 339 applications have been received.
The Met has begun the process of getting all eligible applicants back into the service and onto the frontline as soon as possible, with the first ‘Returners’ starting their bespoke training at Hendon today [Monday, 6 April] before quickly returning to London’s streets.
The return and retention of officers with valuable skills and experience will help to increase the Met’s resilience and allow us to be even more flexible in providing the best service we can to London during this unprecedented time, as the country – and the Capital – responds to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
In addition, to those wanting to return as a warranted police officer, over 30 former officers have applied to return as a member of the Special Constabulary, committing to at least 16 hours a week. Other former officers who fall outside the current scheme and who retired over five years ago are amongst 307 people who want to volunteer.
The Met has also been inundated with offers from members of the public who want to ‘do their bit for London.’ These volunteers will soon take on a range of roles that will support frontline officers and staff, helping the Met to continue to deliver the best possible service to London.
Those wishing to apply to return but have yet to do so, are being urged to complete a simple online form to ensure the process is as fast as possible. Supported by a serving MPS officer acting as a sponsor, the process has been streamlined to allow re-joiners to quickly return.
In addition, the Commissioner has asked serving Met officers who are nearing 30 years’ pensionable service, to delay their retirement and stay as a member of the Met.
Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, said: “I’m not surprised by the number of our former colleagues who want to come back and help us keep London safe at this time, but I am incredibly grateful to them.
“The desire to serve the public and support your team runs deep in all police officers and they understand better anyone the challenges facing their colleagues in the current climate.
“It is humbling to see the number of people who want to support their city and their police by giving is their time for free as volunteers. We are their police service and to see such an overt display of help for us is hugely reassuring to my officers and staff.
“I am grateful to them all. Their work will be so very important as the demands on us grow and vary over the coming weeks, but I want people to know and to see that the Met is here for them and that we will maintain our operational resilience and continue to work with the public during this hugely challenging time for all.”