PFEW survey finds officer morale ‘at breaking point’

Six out of ten rank and file police officers are suffering from low morale and 93 per cent say they do not feel respected by the Government, according to the latest pay and morale survey conducted by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW).

Feb 16, 2022
By Tony Thompson

Of 29,587 officers who responded, 12 per cent said they intended to resign either within the next two years or as soon as possible, while 82 per cent of those who wanted to quit blamed poor morale and 77 per cent highlighted the treatment of police by the Government.

A record 92 per cent of police officers said they were not fairly paid for the stresses and strain of their job, while 66 per cent claimed they were unfairly paid compared to other key workers.

The number of officers who reported they were “never or almost never able” to cover monthly essentials rose to 14 per cent, double the number of a similar PFEW survey conducted two years ago.

The survey also recorded a year-on-year rise of ten per cent in those who cited poor morale, with 58 per cent of respondents saying morale was low and 67 per cent revealing they would not recommend joining the service to others.

When asked about their treatment by the public, 84 per cent of respondents said this had a negative impact on morale, while 78 per cent said they did not feel the police were respected by the public.

PFEW national vice-chair Ché Donald said: “Police officers have now reached breaking point. Having stepped up during the pandemic, faced rising levels of assaults, continually changing rules and legislation, the reward for their efforts was a zero per cent pay award. Police officers heard the warm words, they saw government ministers queuing up on television to give thanks. Yet that was quickly forgotten the moment it came to recognising their efforts in their salary.

“In the face of all of this, is it any wonder that police officers have little to no faith in this Government? Police officers are Crown servants – we do not have employment rights and cannot take industrial action. So, the Government needs to demonstrate it understands this and reward officers fairly for the incredibly difficult and demanding job they do on behalf of society.

“As the undisputed voice of policing, we say the Government needs to restore police officers trust in it. It needs to understand what police officers are telling them and recognise the need for a fair, open and transparent mechanism for determining pay. Otherwise, the damage will see morale fall even further. It will see people leave police forces in droves and have a negative impact on the service’s capability for decades to come.”

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