OFFICERS are now leaving Hampshire Constabulary for the private sector as they are unable to increase their pay in line with their skills, Zoë Wakefield, Hampshire Police Federation Chair has said.
She was speaking about disappointment with the Government after the Home Secretary failed to show up for her address at the Police Superintendents Association’s annual conference earlier this month.
The Government’s intransigence over pay and unwillingness to engage with staff associations has damaged relations in recent years, police representatives have said.
And now “numerous” officers are taking their skills elsewhere, Zoë said.
“There are people leaving within Hampshire. Across the country it is an issue and I think it will be a growing issue. If this is the Government’s stance then lots of people are going to go, ‘Why should I stay when I can earn more in the private sector and not have to roll around on a Friday night with a drunk person or get spat in the face or assaulted?’.
“The Conservatives are tough on crime, but they are tough on police officers as well. Maybe they just don’t see the link between having unmotivated officers and officers that feel devalued, and how that may have an impact on the service that the public gets. I’m not saying that police officers will do that because they’re all very proud of their job and will still go out and do the best job they can, but there are numerous people leaving.
“Somebody said to me, ‘I’ve pretty much got to accept now that I’m going to get a pay cut every year. I’m at the top of my pay scale for my rank, so with inflation going up, my pay staying the same, I’m effectively getting a pay cut every year. There’s no chance of my pay ever going up. Why should I stay?’”