Pc's resignation letter claims staff 'not coping' amid 'a total lack of support'

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A police officer has written a powerful resignation letter saying that she had to quit before the lack of resources and support on the job "kills me both physically and mentally".

Pc Laura Beal told her friends and family in an emotional Facebook post that it had "truly been an honour" to serve with Devon and Cornwall Police for 13 years but that the pressures of her role had left her suffering from stress, depression and anxiety.

Ms Beal made her resignation letter, addressed to the force's chief constable Shaun Sawyer, public.

In it she said the force was "more like a business now in how we function in relation to finance and 'customer' relations, yet we are so far behind on employee rights".

She wrote: "Your staff are not coping, and are suffering because there is no one looking out for them.

"Please take it from someone who has been personally affected and has been so low she has wondered what the point of it all is, and only through her friends and family been able to see that there is more to life than policing.

"Front line response is where you need to focus your time and money. This is where the buck stops."

Ms Beal, who followed in her father's footsteps into policing, joining in 2004, said the "total lack of support both governmental and from the Chief Officer Group has made me lose all faith in the job I loved".

In the letter she explained that she was expected to go on patrol as a response officer covering mid-Devon with just one other officer most days.

"This is meant to be adequate staffing and safe," she wrote.

"How this can be acceptable is beyond belief. I have always worked to the best of my ability as I had pride in what I did. This however is not possible any more."

She added: "I am leaving before this job kills me both physically and mentally.

"I am not only sad because I see what is potentially an amazing career get ruined by hypocrisy and lack of funding; but also because I know I am not the only one going through this and not everyone that needs the help and support will be as lucky as I am to be able to leave."

Ms Beal called on the chief constable to make the situation better for her colleagues, saying she wanted "so much for their lives to get better".

"It is your responsibility to make this right; the front line needs more officers, leadership and managerial support," she said.

The Facebook post has been shared nearly 200 times and has over 300 comments, a number of them from other former officers who said they left for similar reasons.

Devon and Cornwall Police has been contacted for a comment.