Lancashire TelegraphEast Lancashire police recruitment hotline branded ‘complete lottery’ (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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East Lancashire police recruitment hotline branded ‘complete lottery’

Lancashire Telegraph: East Lancashire police recruitment hotline branded ‘complete lottery’ East Lancashire police recruitment hotline branded ‘complete lottery’

A POLICE recruitment drive has been blasted as a ‘complete lottery’ after a hotline was jammed by hundreds of job seekers.

Applicants said trying to get through to Lancashire police for an application pack for one of 100 new posts was like trying to get a ticket to a pop concert or festival.

Just 500 application packs were available on a first come first served basis to people who called the hotline.

All were given out in just four and a half hours.

Former Eastern division chief superintendent Bob Eastwood said the ‘unsophisticated’ process had deprived people of getting ‘the job of their dreams’, while MP Jack Straw said the best applicants should become police officers, not just the ones with the quickest phone lines.

The force said 'unprecedented' demand and an 'insufficient number of jobs' were to blame.

Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said he would now be discussing the issue with the Chief Constable with a view to ‘making improvements’ in the future.

Lauren Maymond, from Burnley, studied sociology and criminiology at university to prepare her for a career in the sector.

She has also completed a counselling course to gain more experience working with people, and also volunteers in a women’s refuge in her spare time.

The 24-year-old said she tried several times, always getting an engaged tone, until hearing a message that said all the applications were gone.

She said: “I’m obviously disappointed, and it was frustrating really.

“It was poorly organised. They said they were expecting a high volume of calls, but there was no call waiting, there was just one line open, and that’s not really good considering there were going to be a lot of applications.

“I hope I would have stood a good chance. I went to university because I wanted to work in the justice system.”

Mr Eastwood, who recently retired, said: “I wonder how many quality candidates have now been deprived of the opportunity of what would be a vocation - the job of their dreams.

“There are more sophisticated methods to run an initial selection process than the one chosen.

“Why this can’t be done electronically, through emails, which is surely low cost, escapes me.

“I can’t understand using such an unsophisticated method to send out initial applications.

“I think a real opportunity has been missed here. The fact that it’s surrounded in such controversy should be something that the chief constable responds to.”

The recruitment campaign was the first time in five years external candidates had been able to apply to join the force.

A police spokeswoman said applicants who got through on the phone were required to undertake a short telephone interview to help establish whether they were eligible to receive an application pack, such as two A levels and no serious criminal convictions.

Amongst those left disappointed were students who have spent three years studying Public Services degree courses in preparation for applying to join the police.

One Blackburn man said: “I find it a poor way to recruit. It is as if we are trying to get tickets for a event.

“Surely you should recruit on merit and not who is lucky enough to get through to the horrendous phone service. It was like a lottery.

“The phone lines were constantly jammed and no queuing system or information was given.

“After trying from 11am until 4pm I was then told by a voice message that all applications had gone.”

said he had spent £30 in credit calling the 0845 number, but had failed to get an application pack.

A fellow job seeker said he had spent £30 in credit calling the 0845 number, but had failed to get an application pack.

He said: “I’d been ringing all day from 11.06 in the morning until 4.54 in the afternoon, and I didn’t get through.

“I was quite disappointed because I was calling an 0845 number from my mobile.”

MPs in East Lancashire said they were also concerned about the recruitment process.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “It is crucial that the police force be able to look out the best candidates and not those that just happen to be on the fastest line that morning.”

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “Maybe it was a little naive for the constabulary to think nobody would have applied for what is an extremely good career.”

And Haslingden and Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said: “I will be raising my concerns with the police and crime commissioner regarding this issue.

“They should have been more prepared for the demand. They should have understood that good jobs are a rarity.”

Crime Commissioner Mr Grunshaw said the force would be looking to make improvements after receiving complaints.

He said: “I appreciate many people have been left angry at the telephone system which was put in place, and I take those comments on board and will be discussing them with the Chief Constable with a view to making improvements.

“I can reassure people the recruitment system was designed to be as fair as possible, and whatever system was put in place would have inevitably led to people missing out – either at this stage or at a later date.”

Comments (17)

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7:01am Wed 30 Apr 14

happycyclist says...

Part of this problem will undoubtably have been caused by Jobcentreplus when they force jobseekers to apply for unreasonable numbers of jobs each week. This results in jobseekers applying for anything and everything, often in the knowledge that they haven't a hope in hell of getting the job. It wastes employers time because they have to wade through high numbers of application from people who don't even want that particular job, and it prevents real candidates from making effective applications because theirs just becomes one of hundreds which has a greater chance of being missed because of the sheer volume of applications. All so that Jobcentreplus can impose sanctions on jobseekers. And then people wonder why foodbanks are on the increase. Insanity.
Part of this problem will undoubtably have been caused by Jobcentreplus when they force jobseekers to apply for unreasonable numbers of jobs each week. This results in jobseekers applying for anything and everything, often in the knowledge that they haven't a hope in hell of getting the job. It wastes employers time because they have to wade through high numbers of application from people who don't even want that particular job, and it prevents real candidates from making effective applications because theirs just becomes one of hundreds which has a greater chance of being missed because of the sheer volume of applications. All so that Jobcentreplus can impose sanctions on jobseekers. And then people wonder why foodbanks are on the increase. Insanity. happycyclist
  • Score: 21

7:12am Wed 30 Apr 14

shytalk says...

Ello, ello ello. We can't have job seeking scroungers in the police force now can we?
Ello, ello ello. We can't have job seeking scroungers in the police force now can we? shytalk
  • Score: -13

7:18am Wed 30 Apr 14

BelTower says...

If they've spent £30 ringing an 0845 number, perhaps they've failed the first test.....
If they've spent £30 ringing an 0845 number, perhaps they've failed the first test..... BelTower
  • Score: 10

7:28am Wed 30 Apr 14

Bat E Karen says...

They should have had set up a facility for online applications, which would have freed up the phone lines for those without internet.
They should have had set up a facility for online applications, which would have freed up the phone lines for those without internet. Bat E Karen
  • Score: 12

9:45am Wed 30 Apr 14

vicn1956 says...

Another case of incompetents in top jobs.
O other
P peoples
M money!
An old Lancs saying-they couldn't run a chip shop.

He's worth every penny isn't he?
Another case of incompetents in top jobs. O other P peoples M money! An old Lancs saying-they couldn't run a chip shop. He's worth every penny isn't he? vicn1956
  • Score: 6

9:55am Wed 30 Apr 14

RoverTheHill says...

This is hardly news, GMP did this not too long back. Wouldn't be surprised if a large number of them do.
This is hardly news, GMP did this not too long back. Wouldn't be surprised if a large number of them do. RoverTheHill
  • Score: 3

2:38pm Wed 30 Apr 14

slants says...

studied sociology and criminiology so why should these two made up courses qualify her for joining the filth ???
studied sociology and criminiology so why should these two made up courses qualify her for joining the filth ??? slants
  • Score: -9

4:09pm Wed 30 Apr 14

gymzoo says...

I'd like to put a shout out for all the specials who turn out every week , for no pay to bolster up the very thin blue line. They are fully trained and doing the job already but they couldn't get the packs either this needs a serious looking into .... If they don't qualify for recruitment we are all in trouble!
I'd like to put a shout out for all the specials who turn out every week , for no pay to bolster up the very thin blue line. They are fully trained and doing the job already but they couldn't get the packs either this needs a serious looking into .... If they don't qualify for recruitment we are all in trouble! gymzoo
  • Score: 12

4:11pm Wed 30 Apr 14

burner says...

. . " Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “It is crucial that the police force be able to look out the best candidates and not those that just happen to be on the fastest line that morning.” .
.
Remind you of anything, Jack ? Like women-only short lists / . . . also UNFAIR !!!
. . " Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “It is crucial that the police force be able to look out the best candidates and not those that just happen to be on the fastest line that morning.” . . Remind you of anything, Jack ? Like women-only short lists / . . . also UNFAIR !!! burner
  • Score: 6

7:00pm Wed 30 Apr 14

mmickk says...

slants wrote:
studied sociology and criminiology so why should these two made up courses qualify her for joining the filth ???
Tossers like you that call them the filth still call for their help and expect them to jump to your every need. Let me guess tattoo spelled wrong and a banned breed of dog not forgetting never done a days work scum like you with no respect for emergency services need putting down.
[quote][p][bold]slants[/bold] wrote: studied sociology and criminiology so why should these two made up courses qualify her for joining the filth ???[/p][/quote]Tossers like you that call them the filth still call for their help and expect them to jump to your every need. Let me guess tattoo spelled wrong and a banned breed of dog not forgetting never done a days work scum like you with no respect for emergency services need putting down. mmickk
  • Score: 11

8:19pm Wed 30 Apr 14

slants says...

mmickk wrote:
slants wrote:
studied sociology and criminiology so why should these two made up courses qualify her for joining the filth ???
Tossers like you that call them the filth still call for their help and expect them to jump to your every need. Let me guess tattoo spelled wrong and a banned breed of dog not forgetting never done a days work scum like you with no respect for emergency services need putting down.
what a saddo lol
[quote][p][bold]mmickk[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]slants[/bold] wrote: studied sociology and criminiology so why should these two made up courses qualify her for joining the filth ???[/p][/quote]Tossers like you that call them the filth still call for their help and expect them to jump to your every need. Let me guess tattoo spelled wrong and a banned breed of dog not forgetting never done a days work scum like you with no respect for emergency services need putting down.[/p][/quote]what a saddo lol slants
  • Score: -5

9:06pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Foxy13 says...

The should be telling everyone ,unless you are from the BME community you wont get a look in this time !

So everyone that wasted money phoning them for a application form you have wasted your time

Very funny
The should be telling everyone ,unless you are from the BME community you wont get a look in this time ! So everyone that wasted money phoning them for a application form you have wasted your time Very funny Foxy13
  • Score: 2

7:54am Thu 1 May 14

soulmanuk says...

gymzoo wrote:
I'd like to put a shout out for all the specials who turn out every week , for no pay to bolster up the very thin blue line. They are fully trained and doing the job already but they couldn't get the packs either this needs a serious looking into .... If they don't qualify for recruitment we are all in trouble!
if you are a special from an ethnic background you automatically got an application pack if you wanted one
[quote][p][bold]gymzoo[/bold] wrote: I'd like to put a shout out for all the specials who turn out every week , for no pay to bolster up the very thin blue line. They are fully trained and doing the job already but they couldn't get the packs either this needs a serious looking into .... If they don't qualify for recruitment we are all in trouble![/p][/quote]if you are a special from an ethnic background you automatically got an application pack if you wanted one soulmanuk
  • Score: 0

8:19am Thu 1 May 14

cutthebull says...

What about those who have been buddied through the system and got an automatic application because of their ethnicity? I have friend who spend 5hrs constantly redialing who didn't get a look in who been waiting for the last 5 yrs to join and cannot work in the police as specials because their current job (custody detention officers) causes clash of interest. Personally I think it's disgraceful what has happened, in noway have recruited the best for the job because of the first come first served. Would the MD of a company offer first come first served if it depended on the future of their multimillion pound company? Only in the public services does this seem to happen - it's a joke & LC should reopen the applications and make it online, then your getting the best & ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation should not come into it as you want to recruit the best, because in my / families moment of need do I care about those factors? I just want the best helping / saving - not incompetency because it looks good on a poster campaign!
What about those who have been buddied through the system and got an automatic application because of their ethnicity? I have friend who spend 5hrs constantly redialing who didn't get a look in who been waiting for the last 5 yrs to join and cannot work in the police as specials because their current job (custody detention officers) causes clash of interest. Personally I think it's disgraceful what has happened, in noway have recruited the best for the job because of the first come first served. Would the MD of a company offer first come first served if it depended on the future of their multimillion pound company? Only in the public services does this seem to happen - it's a joke & LC should reopen the applications and make it online, then your getting the best & ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation should not come into it as you want to recruit the best, because in my / families moment of need do I care about those factors? I just want the best helping / saving - not incompetency because it looks good on a poster campaign! cutthebull
  • Score: 5

9:53am Thu 1 May 14

vicn1956 says...

When you don't actively seek the best people for the job- you don't get the best people for the job.
Is this why we see nearly every public institution falling down on the job?
People promoted beyond their capabilities!
When you don't actively seek the best people for the job- you don't get the best people for the job. Is this why we see nearly every public institution falling down on the job? People promoted beyond their capabilities! vicn1956
  • Score: 1

9:58am Thu 1 May 14

vicn1956 says...

Would a private company knowingly not employ the best person for the job? How long would it compete in the market?
What would happen to a football manager if he didn't sign the best players available to him?
I thought this was common sense! Obviously not to these people. They don't have to live in the real world or be accountable like the rest of us.
Would a private company knowingly not employ the best person for the job? How long would it compete in the market? What would happen to a football manager if he didn't sign the best players available to him? I thought this was common sense! Obviously not to these people. They don't have to live in the real world or be accountable like the rest of us. vicn1956
  • Score: 2

11:50am Thu 1 May 14

jenkinsroy says...

IT will not change things now as this government are just going to
destroy this country before they get kicked out in the 2015 elections
and it will take year to recover from all the cut they have imposed on
us all .
them in government now are falling over each other for the job in the E.U.
now stage 1 NO ARMYS ANY MORE
stage 2 NO LAWER ANY MORE
stage 3 NO MONEY IN THE TAX PAYERS POT
stage 4 THERE ANSWER WILL BE UP YOUR AM OFF SEE YOU LATER
IT will not change things now as this government are just going to destroy this country before they get kicked out in the 2015 elections and it will take year to recover from all the cut they have imposed on us all . them in government now are falling over each other for the job in the E.U. now stage 1 NO ARMYS ANY MORE stage 2 NO LAWER ANY MORE stage 3 NO MONEY IN THE TAX PAYERS POT stage 4 THERE ANSWER WILL BE UP YOUR AM OFF SEE YOU LATER jenkinsroy
  • Score: 1

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