Survey Shows Officers Are Feeling The Financial Squeeze

A SHOCKING 84% of Hampshire Police officers feel worse off financially than they were five years ago, new research has found.

18% of officers never or almost never have enough money to cover all their essentials, and 78% are dissatisfied with their overall remuneration, according to the latest Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) Pay and Morale Survey.

Of the 839 officers that responded, 98% reported that their cost of living had increased in the last month, with an increase in the price of their food shop/fuel being the most cited reason.

Last year police officers across England and Wales were given an average of a 5% pay rise – but this was way below inflation booming now at more than 10%. Household bills are rising sharply and over the past 12 years police officer pay has fallen in real terms by 25%.

Mood and wellbeing are suffering too, the research has found.

A total of 78% of officers said morale within the force is currently ‘low’ or ‘very low’ with 12% saying they intend to resign from the police service either ‘within the next two years’ or ‘as soon as [they] can’.

A huge 92% said that they do not feel respected by the Government, with three fifths saying they would not recommend joining the police to others.

Officers are also under attack from the public; 21% had suffered one or more injuries that required medical attention as a result of work-related violence in the last year.

Four in ten (41%) said their job was ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressful, and 83% said they had experienced feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety, or other difficulties with their health and wellbeing over the last 12 months.

Zoe Wakefield, Chair of Hampshire Police Federation, said: “Sadly we are not surprised or shocked by the results of this survey. We are very aware of how much our members are struggling financially, physically and psychologically.

“The Government cannot continue to underfund police forces, disrespect officers at every opportunity and not pay police officers what they deserve. Policing is a difficult and stressful job which many could not do.

“Those who become police officers to make a difference and help those in need, do not deserve to be treated this way. Assaults on officers are increasing. The number of experienced officers leaving is increasing. Many forces are struggling to recruit.

“I know of officers who still love policing but have been forced to leave to get a better paid job in the private sector. This is wrong.

“Hampshire Police Federation can offer a lot of support and advice to anyone struggling and we would urge them to contact their local fed rep or the Federation office.”

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