A HUGE 91% of Hampshire Police officers say they do not currently feel respected by the Government with 40% worrying about their finances every day.
The new figures from the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) 2021 Pay and Morale Survey come after 12 years of pay caps and pay freezes for the police.
69% of respondents from Hampshire Police felt that they were worse off financially than they were five years ago and 12% of respondents reported never or almost never having enough money to cover all their essentials.
The negative impact of the Government’s treatment towards police officers and police pay is clear from the survey – 73% of respondents from Hampshire Police felt that morale within the Hampshire is currently low.
And 69% of respondents from Hampshire Police said that over the last 12 months, their workload has been too high or much too high.
Last year police officers across England and Wales were given a 0% pay rise. Household bills are rising sharply and National Insurance is going up in April. Over the past 10 years police officer pay has fallen in real terms by 18%.
So it comes as no surprise that 78% of the 958 respondents from Hampshire Police said that they are dissatisfied with their overall remuneration.
Meanwhile 57% of officers who responded said they would not recommend joining the police to others and 10% of respondents from Hampshire Police said they had an intention to leave the police service either within the next 2 years or as soon as possible.
The Federation is urging MPs to support its campaign for a real-terms pay increase and a fair and independent mechanism to decide on police officer pay rises.
Zoe Wakefield, Hampshire Police Federation Chair, said: “To see that 91% of Hampshire officers do not feel there is respect from the Government is not a surprising number at all.
My members feel betrayed by this Government. They worked throughout the pandemic, keeping the public safe whilst putting themselves and their families at risk. They enforced the legislation implement by the Government, often at very short notice. To then be denied a pay rise due to interference in the ‘independent’ mechanism for determining police pay, sends the message that the Government do not respect or value police officers.
“Some of my members cannot afford to pay into the pension scheme, some can only afford to fill their cars up with fuel on payday. Many of our student officers struggle to find affordable accommodation as they do not earn enough to get a mortgage, even when they have thousands saved. For many, their take home pay is roughly the same as it was 10 years ago.
“Hampshire is a good force with a good well-being offer but that can never compete with the disrespectful treatment from the Government.
“Hampshire is under funded by around £43m due to an unfair funding formula and the cuts by the Government have had a huge impact. Demand has increased so there is more work but less officers to actually do that work. Officers are breaking under the strain. We are also the only force who has an island that is not connected to the mainland. This creates unique challenges which cost money. We should receive additional funding because of this.
“The cost of living in Hampshire is high. Hampshire officers only get 55% of the possible maximum they could get of the south east allowance.
“Policing is an exciting, varied, challenging and rewarding career so it is really sad but not surprising that over half of officers would not recommend joining. Changes need to be made to police pay, funding, recruitment and the constant negative rhetoric from the Government.”