More police leaving the force

2:04 min

In the last 18 months, 300 Swedish police officers have left their jobs. When, at the beginning of this year, the police administration was collected together into one large organization there were big changes and sweeping reorganizations, and that seems likely to be the primary cause for the resignations.

Erica Bäckius is a former traffic police officer in Dalarna county. She told Swedish Radio News that she left the force two months ago.

"The actual jobs are the same, but organizationally it's much more messy. No one knows what they are going to have to do. What are we going to work with, how many are going to work here? It is very messy and very insecure," Bäckius said.

Several police officers that Swedish Radio News spoke with confirmed that there is a growing frustration and dissatisfaction within the ranks.

Bäckius said that the intent with the reorganization was different.

Bäckius said that the promise was for police to get closer to citizens. But it doesn't feel to her like that's happening. She said there's no money for the reorganization.

According to the police's own figures, requested by Swedish Radio News, the number of police officers who left the profession has doubled in the last ten years, excluding retirements and deaths. In 2005, 85 left and that number was stable until 2009, when it started to rise, reaching its peak in 2014, with 190 police leaving.

Police HR director Kajsa Möller agrees that the recent years' exodus can in part be explained by the reorganizations. But she says she is not overly worried.

"If you look at the total number it's still under one percent employee turnover. Some employee turnover is healthy, and we want that. The most interesting thing to look at is what is causing people to leave. I personally thinks they need to have more extensive exit interviews with people when they quit," Möller said.