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Plea for police morale “action plan” rejected

imageChief constables and the police minister have refused to put together an action plan to improve “plummeting” police officer morale – despite being told to do so by a group of influential MPs.

The Home Affairs Select Committee told Damian Green and ACPO in July last year to “publish a list of actions they intend to take to address the issue of police morale during the course of this year.”

However neither have taken up this request.

The demand – made by the Home Affairs Select Committee in a report on Leadership and standards in the police – was in response to the news that morale among British Bobbies had “sunk to its lowest ebb in recent memory”.

A Home Office response to the report stated acknowledged “that implementing Tom Winsor’s [pay and conditions] recommendations means that the police are currently going through a period of significant change and that this is affecting police morale.”

However it added: “The Government does not agree with the Committee’s recommendation that the Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims [Damian Green] and the Chief Constable’s Council should publish a list of the actions that they are going to take to address the issue of police morale over the course of a year.

“The Government will continue to maintain strong relationships with police staff associations, and continue to listen to the concerns of officers and staff as the police workforce is modernised in line with Tom Winsor’s recommendations.

“The Government will also continue to acknowledge the ongoing hard work of police officers and staff across the country.”

Mike Cunningham, ACPO’s lead on workforce development and chief constable of Staffordshire Police said this week: “The welfare of their officers and staff is of utmost concern to chief constables and is regularly discussed at a national level and with staff associations.

“Individual chiefs hold the responsibility for leading their people and boosting their morale; this will be a key part of all chiefs’ programmes to address changes to the service.”

Last July, MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee stated: “We are deeply concerned by the decline in police morale and in particular by Lord Stevens’ finding [in his independent review] that 95% of the service do not feel they have the support of the Government.”

They added this concern was heightened as “morale in the ranks can have a real impact on public safety.”

Date posted: February 6, 2014

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