Increase In Officers Using Welfare Fund As Cost Of Living Rises

HAMPSHIRE Police officers continue to struggle with the cost-of-living crisis, with the Federation reporting a huge increase in people accessing the Welfare Fund.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said that officers were also putting themselves forward for large amounts of overtime, while others were not able to afford enough food to last the month.

She said: “We’ve had a huge increase in people accessing our Welfare Fund for financial help, and our PCCs have just put some more money into that fund to help officers who are in financial difficulty.

“We’ve got officers who are relying on working overtime, which means they’re shattered because they’re not getting adequate rest – they need to work that overtime in order to pay the bills.”

Zoë continued: “One officer told me that they were having a meal break at work and another officer didn’t have any food. He asked him, ‘Have you not got anything to eat?’ and the officer said, ‘No, I haven’t got any money until payday’. So the other officers gave him some of their own food. You can’t work a 10-hour shift doing demanding police work, and not refuel.

“The £1,900 police officer pay rise hasn’t made a lot of difference, as it’s far below levels of inflation. In Hampshire we’ve secured an increase in the South East Allowance, which officers will see in their November pay packet. But again, because of everything else rising, it’s not going to make a real difference.

“The issue is bigger than policing. Everyone across the country is struggling. But police pay has been cut for many, many years. The pay doesn’t reflect the risk and the dangers and the work that we do. But if the Government is making cuts everywhere, it’s unlikely we’re going to see that pay rise.”


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