Officers report boost to morale
Police officers in Humberside have the highest levels morale in the country, a new survey has revealed.
Just over a third (35 per cent) of Humberside officers who took part in a nationwide survey by the Police Federation said they had low personal morale, the lowest percentage in the country and compared with 57 per cent nationally.
The figure represents a significant improvement from last year when 45 per cent of Humberside Police Federation members who took part in the annual survey said they had low personal morale and four out of five (79 per cent) said Force morale was low. Under half (47 per cent) felt morale within the Force was low this year, compared with 87 per cent nationally.
Pete said: “It is really pleasing to see that morale within Humberside is better than it is in other forces and particularly given that we have seen such a marked improvement in the last 12 months.
“I think we are beginning to see the positive effects of a change in leadership, a number of wellbeing initiatives and a drive by the Force to get our officer numbers back up after years of decline.
“We hope that the Force will continue to build on the progress made so that next year we can see even better levels of personal morale being reported.”
The three main reasons given for low morale were how the police are treated as a whole (69 per cent), pay and benefits, including pensions (68 per cent) and management of change within the police service (65 per cent).
The survey, carried out between June and August this year, did reveal that almost two thirds (65 per cent) of Humberside officers felt they were worse off than five years ago with 87 per cent not feeling they were fairly paid for the stresses and strains of their job and 79 per cent not feeling fairly paid for the hazards they faced.
The survey also revealed that 70 per cent of Humberside respondents were dissatisfied with their overall remuneration package, including basic pay and allowances, with a shocking 37 per cent saying they worried about the state of their personal finances every day or almost every day.
In addition, almost one in 10 – nine per cent – reported never, or almost never, having enough money to cover all their essentials.
“While the Force has managed to take great strides in improving officer morale, it has little control over officer pay which is determined by central Government,” Pete explains.
“Officers’ views on pay are not entirely surprising. During the years of austerity we have seen cuts to police budgets that have left our members having to work harder and harder to match increased demand with reduced resources and that has been compounded by real-term cuts to police officers’ pay.
“Police officers have a unique role in society, serving and protecting the public, they put themselves in harm’s way and sometimes they pay the ultimate price for doing so. It is only right that they are fairly paid to reflect the challenging nature of the work they carry out.
“We need to see a review of police officer pay so that we not only ensure serving officers receive a pay package that reflects the demands of their roles but we also attract the very best recruits to the police service.”
Despite the improvements in morale, however, four out of 10 respondents said they would not recommend joining the police to others with five per cent saying they intended to leave the service either within the next two years or as soon as possible. Both these percentages were the lowest of the forces across England and Wales to complete the survey.
The pay and morale survey was carried out between June and August this year. A total of 689 responses were received from Humberside officers, a response rate of 36 per cent, compared to 16 per cent nationally.
The findings are used by the Police Federation in its submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), the independent body that puts forward a recommendation on police pay rises to the Government each year.
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