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‘Policing is not a job for my kids’

Ned LiddemoreMorale is so low in the police service at the moment that the Vice-Chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation wouldn’t recommend the job to his own children.

And three out of four serving police officers would also not recommend policing as a career to others, a survey of British Bobbies has found.

Ned Liddemore said: “I’ve got two children and I wouldn’t recommend it to either of them. It’s just going downhill and over the past five years, morale has plummeted.

“We’ve got a lot less officers, we’ve got the same amount of work to deal with which is more and more pressure.

“They’re not able to get their annual leave, their rest days are consistently cancelled at short notice, their tours of duty are extended, they can’t get cover for bank holidays.

“There are assaults on officers, there was no pay rise for four years and then we get a capped 1% pay rise for the next few years while MPs in their cosy little offices have given themselves a 10% pay rise. So of course morale’s really low, and it will continue to be that.”

The poll of more than 32,500 police officers carried out by the Police Federation of England and Wales also showed that more than 15% are planning to leave the service within the next two years. Low morale and the impact of the job on their health and personal or family life were all major factors in their decision.

However, a total of 53.1% said they were willing to go the extra mile for the police and 78.2% said they could count on their colleagues for friendship and support.

Mr Liddemore added: “That’s police officers for you. That’s why they are police officers – they want to help people and they’ll continue to do that. We are reaching breaking point. We’re getting to that point where we won’t be able to cope if something goes wrong.”

The survey of 32,598 officers – a 28% response rate – showed that 70.2% of officers said morale was low, compared with 59.1% in 2014.

Also, 94.6% said morale was low in their force, with 96.6% saying morale was low across the service. Just 10.2% said they would recommend joining the service, while 76.3% would not.

Date posted: July 23, 2015

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