Police officers in Hertfordshire are choosing to leave the job at a higher rate than almost anywhere else in the country, official statistics show.

The figures published by the Office of National Statistics earlier this summer revealed the county had one of the highest levels of voluntary resignations.

Hertfordshire Constabulary, which has hit a record high number of officers said it is working to retain staff where possible and more officers than ever are working in the county.

Data released for the year between April 2020 and March 2021 showed 44 per cent of those leaving the force were classed as voluntary leavers.

In total, 33 percent of officers leaving the job in England and Wales are doing so out of choice.

No specific data is released on why officers quit the job, but voluntary resignations are working-age officers who decide to move on, as opposed to medical retirement, dismissal, normal retirement, death or transfer elsewhere within the police.

Nationally, retirement is the biggest reason behind police officers leaving their jobs, but in Hertfordshire more leavers are those who have chosen to resign.

Of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, Hertfordshire had the sixth highest rate of voluntary resignations with 44 percent of leavers (excluding transfers).

That rate is only behind the Metropolitan Police, and forces in Kent, Suffolk, Bedfordshire and Surrey.

It is, however, a decrease from figures in 2019/2020 where 52 percent of leavers (excluding transfers) had voluntarily resigned.

In total, 102 officers left the force in 2020/21 – the 21st highest rate in the country – and 45 of those were voluntary resignations.

Despite the significant proportion of officers choosing to quit the job, Hertfordshire Constabulary notes that while 4.87 percent of the force left during 2020/21, this is offset by 10.97 percent of the force joining in the past year.

After a new intake of recruits in June, Hertfordshire had 2,212 officers serving in the county, according to the Police and Crime Commissioner's Office.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: "We are currently recruiting police officers and I’m proud to say we have more serving officers working to keep the people of Hertfordshire safe than we have ever had.

"Of course, some officers move on rather than enjoying a lifelong career in policing, but the numbers of people leaving before retirement age is relatively low.

“I recently presented numerous experienced officers with long service awards and it was clear how much they still enjoyed the job and how proud they were to serve with Hertfordshire Constabulary."

Chief Constable Hall added: "As well as being hugely rewarding, a job in policing is challenging and we work hard to support colleagues throughout their careers. Alongside well-trained managers keeping staff welfare at the fore, we have a large number of support groups in place.

"We also look to encourage officers to seek promotion in an effort to retain skilled staff who may otherwise consider leaving the organisation with superb transferable skills gained on the job."