Police officer morale ‘shaken by pay dissatisfaction and poor treatment’

1 Sep 17

Police officer morale is shaken by pay dissatisfaction and poor treatment, according to a survey from the Police Federation of England and Wales.

The study of 30,000 officers, out on Wednesday, found that 60.2% of officers said their personal morale was low, an increase of nearly 5% than last year. Of these 85% blamed it on the way police as a whole were treated.

In addition 72% of respondents said they were dissatisfied with their total pay package compared with 66.7% last year – this is the highest level since the survey began.

The public sector pay cap is continuing to take its toll with 72.5% of respondents claiming that they felt financially worse off now than they did five years ago.

Some 86.5% said they did not feel fairly paid considering the stresses and strains of their job.

Steve White, PFEW chair, said: “At a time when we have never needed the police more, with heightened threats almost weekly, we have many officers who are finding it hard to put food on the table for their families and are resorting to welfare schemes.

“In real terms, pay has dropped by around 15% since 2010. If the pay cap was to continue for another four years, that would represent a 23% overall drop. No wonder officers are demoralised and despondent.”

The survey also found that more than one in ten cops can’t afford essentials – and that figure rises to around one in six for probationers.

White added: “Officers do a heroic job as evidenced by the events of the past year, yet they feel undervalued and under pressure.

“We know that officers enjoy tremendous support from the British public as a whole, which is a source of enormous pride for them.

“But something has to give, and unfortunately the evidence shows that it is these officers’ personal welfare, as they struggle to meet rising demand with dwindling resources and 21,000 officers fewer than 2010.”

The survey results will be used as evidence in PFEW’s submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body at the end of the year which help inform the government’s decision over pay increases.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said police officers have a “uniquely challenging” job of keeping the public safe and secure, adding that it remains an “attractive career with competitive pay and the pension is among the best available”.

The Home Office stated job application rates are high with staff turnover and voluntary resignations remaining low compared with both the private and public sector.

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