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Federation reports “lowest levels of morale in living memory”

Paul YeomansCuts at Humberside Police have led to increasing sickness levels and the “lowest levels of morale in living memory”, the Federation Chairman told the organisation’s annual Open Meeting.

The force has seen a £30 million budgetary deficit which has meant a 13 per cent reduction in police numbers, said Paul Yeomans (pictured).

Numbers have fallen from 2,220 in 2004 to 1,689 today – leaving a predicted 1,469 by 2017.

“This adds up to overworked, fatigued and stressed police officers” he told chief constable Justine Curran and Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove.

“All of this has resulted in the worst levels of morale in the Police service in living memory and we have real concerns that this is going to become problematic with increased sickness levels and less flexibility within the workforce.”

Officers are expected to pick up the slack for reductions in staff numbers meanwhile, Mr Yeomans told 200 officers at the meeting and Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales.

He added: “It is abundantly clear that all of these reductions and cuts will have a significant impact on our ability to deliver a service to our public, a service of which we all want to be proud of, and which they, quite rightly expect from us.”

Mr Yeomans also used his speech to criticise managers’ overuse of the exigency clause, shift patterns, the force restructure and a reduction in rest days, all of which he said was having an impact on officers’ wellbeing.

Also at the meeting on Monday 20 October, he called for “dignity and respect” for officers who are injured or disabled in the line of duty.

He paid tribute to PC Craig Atkin – an officer whose leg was broken as he arrested a burglar. Mr Yeomans said: “Despite what must have been incredible pain and anguish he held onto the suspect until colleagues arrived. This officer is the epitome of policing and displays the courage and determination which the public have enjoyed from us for many years.”

“Chief Constable, there are many like him, who in similar circumstances, have become disabled and injured in the execution of their duty, a duty which they attend to without question or falter. They are brave indeed. We seek some assurance that despite the arrogant views of Tom Winsor you will strive to look after these individuals who sadly can no longer fulfil the full role and duties of a police officer.

“They are not disposable resources, they deserve dignity and respect. We sincerely hope that those who fail the fitness tests in these circumstances will be pensioned out rather than dumped through unsatisfactory performance procedures.”

Bryn Hughes, the father of murdered PC Nicola Hughes, was guest speaker at the event, and more than £2,000 was raised for the PC Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund.

Date posted: October 31, 2014

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