It’s the second year that the number has dropped with just over 6,000 applications. That compares to about 10,500 in the year ending March 31, 2019. The force had hoped to recruit 1,620 constables but only 460 had been hired as of February 28.
And the number of applicants for probationary inspector dropped by a similar 37 percent when compared to two years ago.
At the same time, the number of vacancies for junior police officers and inspectors has continued to increase – by 124 and 270 percent when compared to a year ago. There were 4,744 vacancies at “rank and file” level and 467 at inspector grade.
Critics have accused the police of using excessive force against protesters during the 2019 social unrest – a charge the force has repeatedly denied. Top brass have blamed “fake news” for any loss of confidence in the force.