Record number of WA police quitting: union

Police officers are leaving the West Australian force in record numbers, with their union describing an overseas recruitment drive as a band-aid solution.

Police Union acting president Paul Gale said 465 sworn police officers resigned last year and 97 retired.

It's the highest number of resignations and retirements in the force's 189-year history and more than twice as many as 2021.

"These figures are horrendous. The total number of sworn officers went backwards," Mr Gale told reporters on Monday.

"Over 220 in the last 12 months. I'm disappointed but I'm not surprised."

Mr Gale said the total number of sworn officers was down from 7112 in 2021 to 6893 in 2022.

Rigid leadership, poor pay and conditions, a lack of career opportunities and cultural group think were the most commonly cited reasons for leaving the force.

"I received one email after another from police officers saying they'd resigned from the agency and listing the many cultural and organisational issues that caused them to make their decision," he said.

Mr Gale said the figures also showed officers no longer saw policing as a "job for life".

"This is a very sad development in the history of WA police," he said.

He said the force needed a net increase of more than 700 officers to fulfil the McGowan Labor government's promise of 950 extra officers by 2024.

"The union supports the government's overseas recruitment drive, however, this is only a band-aid solution," he said.

"It's only a matter of time before these new recruits obtain permanent residency and become familiar with the many cultural and organisational issues in WA police."

Mr Gale also said the union would continue to push for an additional two per cent pay rise on top of the recent three per cent increase and bonus payment.

"Three per cent is not good enough and that's why we'll continue to search for the five per cent that we asked for in the first place," Mr Gale said.

He said the state's police officers had been patient for five years during a financial restructure and worked through the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We've sat and adhered to what they needed, done our job, gone above and beyond ... and expect to be recompensed for all that effort," he said.

"For the McGowan government to do what they have this year and offer what they have is a slap in the face for our members."