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PFEW survey reveals low officer morale – and planned exodus

iStock_000020482495_MediumMore than 5,000 police officers in England and Wales are planning to leave the service in the next two years, a Police Federation survey suggests.

Of the 32,000 officers who responded, 94% said they believed morale in the service was low or very low.

Some 59% of police officers said their own personal morale was low.

Some 91% said that they had felt some reduction to morale following changes to overtime and rest day payments. The survey found the pension age increase had led to 87.2% of officers feeling like their morale had dropped.

The online survey which took place earlier this year aimed to measure the impact of reforms which followed a review of police pay and conditions.

The Police Federation’s statement introducing the results said: “Our survey suggests 15% are planning to leave the service.

“Forces should not be complacent that they have enough officers to fill their current quotas, it’s likely that when the job market picks up these officers will go, leaving an experience gap.”

It is understood the full survey will be out in December.

More than 16 months have passed since the Home Office and ACPO were told to act on police officer morale by the Home Affairs Select Committee – which stated it had “sunk to its lowest ebb in recent memory”.

Yet nothing has been done.

Speaking this month, Sir Peter Fahy, vice president of ACPO and chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said: “All parts of the public sector are reporting low morale among staff. There is concern at low pay increases, lack of promotion opportunities and the likely impact of further budget cuts with fewer staff to do more work.

“Policing is no different but there is also a weariness at what is seen as constant negative press coverage, a blame culture looking for fault rather than learning lessons and a feeling that the realities of some of the social problems the police are having to deal with are just not appreciated.

“Despite all this our staff are doing a magnificent job and victim satisfaction and public confidence in policing are being maintained. Police leaders recognise the pressures their staff are under and are working on many local initiatives to try and improve welfare and staff well-being.”

Date posted: October 31, 2014

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