Ten years ago, approximately 200 police officers left the departments. Today, this number is ten times more. The main cause is the low salaries and the thus more attractive private sector.
Not attractive enough
Unsurprisingly, there are not enough applicants who want to become border guards which is a separate unit in the Hungarian police force. In the last eight months, the number of border guard graduates fell to 1/6th, and last Monday, only 22 of them took up service. However, the police do not give up recruiting since they always need new officers because of the high rate of fluctuation – nepszava.hu reported.
Géza Pongó, general secretary of the Independent Police Trade Union, said that before, county police departments sent officers to the border from their staff. However, this process slowed down by now. Today, graduates fill the position of those who leave the police. The number of Hungarian police staff today is 50 thousand, but only 36 thousand of them are professionals. Therefore, the 2,000 officers who changed their career is astonishingly high and equals the number of police officers providing service in some smaller Hungarian counties. And this wave of demobilisation
affects the border guards as well.
Even though the government decided in 2016 to raise the number of border guards by 3,000, by the fall of 2017, they could find only 1,132 new recruits. This means that they could fill only a third of the positions. Therefore, many police officers were reassigned to the border in order to have enough people providing service near the anti-migration fence built there.
Even paying the rent is problematic for many police officers
The number of new recruits fell significantly: in August there were 124 of them, but in December, their number decreased to only 23. Furthermore, according to data,
10 pc of the applicants cannot finish
the training, and many of them quit the moment they acquire their certificate.
Nepszava states that, in the beginning, the border guard program was designed to provide staff for the protection of the fence in the Southern border of Hungary. However, today, border guards give service where they are needed most. This is because, according to Nepszava, there
are only very few migrants trying to get to Hungary.
The main cause why people do not want to become police officers is the very low wages in the sector. As a result, in Budapest and other great cities, even paying rent is problematic for many of the staff. Therefore, the private sector easily syphons off both greenhorns and experienced professionals.
Labour shortage everywhere
As we reported, the European Parliament on Wednesday approved an agreement to beef up
Frontex staff to 5,000 officers before increasing their numbers to 10,000.
The Hungarian government said before that border protection was an “issue of sovereignty”, and Hungary “insists on performing that task”. Gergely Gulyas argued then that Frontex could not ensure the same degree of protection, even with a larger headcount.
Now, György Bakondi, the PM’s chief security advisor, said the EP’s move to bolster the staff of border agency Frontex to 10,000 would not be enough to protect the bloc’s borders from a massive inflow of migrants.
As we already reported, Hungary struggles a lot with
labour shortage which affects almost every sector of the economy.
In fact, the most problematic sectors are public transport and service, tourism and IT. However, the issue also affects the public sector greatly. For example, a severe shortage of teachers is present throughout Hungary, but even the shortage of doctors and nurses is getting worse.
Featured image: Árvai Károly/kormany.hu