Over A Fifth Of Officers Planning To Resign

Politicians must listen to police officers’ concerns and act on them, as too many people are leaving policing, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

The new Police Federation of England and Wales’ Pay and Morale Survey has revealed that low morale is impacting retention, with 22% of respondents saying they planned to resign within the next two years or “as soon as [they] can”.

Over half of respondents (58%) said they had “low” or “very low” morale. And a huge 95% of officers said that how the police were treated by the Government was having a negative effect on their morale.

Meanwhile three quarters (78%) were “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with their overall remuneration, and 18% reported never having enough money to cover their essentials.

Workload was a problem too, with 86% of respondents saying they didn’t feel there were enough officers to meet the demands of their team, and 33% “always” or “often” feeling pressured into working long hours.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said: “These statistics are no surprise to anybody in policing. It’s really sad that so many people are either leaving policing or looking to leave. One reason for that is the poor pay, another is the way we’re portrayed in the media, and another is the way we’re treated by the Government.

“Officers have had enough of working so hard in such difficult circumstances because of the lack of available officers. The 20,000 policing uplift was good, but when you ask officers on shift: ‘Have you noticed a real difference?’, they’ll say, ‘Yeah, we’ve noticed a lot of new students coming in’, but they’re not feeling their workload has eased at all.

“We had some big intakes and those officers are now pretty experienced, but we’re not feeling the benefit of that because of the number of people who are leaving.”

Pay was also “a massive issue”, Zoë said: “People have said to me, ‘I really love being a police officer, but I just can’t afford to feed my kids on this money. I need to leave and get a better-paid job so that my family have a better life’. And our allowances have not increased in line with inflation; things like that make a big difference to officers.”

Zoe’s message to politicians was: “Go and spend time with police officers in your constituency. Listen to them about what their concerns are, and then take that back into Parliament and use that information to improve things for police officers. If you want to get crime down and you want more police on the streets, listen to the officers because they can tell you exactly what it’s really like out there.”

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