North Wales Police Federation aim to effectively support our Officers and promote the efficiency of the North Wales Police.
We will endeavour to represent and negotiate for our members in a robust, open and honest manner to ensure that officers are treated fairly and considerately at all times by the Force.
We aim to provide a professional and caring service to our members with a view to fostering a relationship which is founded on trust, confidentiality and respect on both sides. We will endeavour to build on that relationship to determine the most appropriate support, advice and action relevant to the individual needs and issues.
Loyal Local Cops Not Feeling the Love
Over 80% of North Wales Police officers have highlighted low force morale due to the way the police service is treated as a whole combined with an ongoing attack on their pay and conditions in a recent Pay and Morale survey.
The annual Pay and Morale survey conducted by the Police Federation of England and Wales revealed that officers in North Wales were regarded as the most loyal and had the least intention of leaving the service out of 43 police forces.
Despite officer’s loyalties, low force morale has maintained a figure in the region of 80% for the last four years. Worryingly, responses for the negative effects of day-to-day job role and workload / responsibilities have increased over the last three years (Day-today job role 33.3% in 2016, 40.3% in 2018. Workload and Responsibilities 43.1% in 2016 to 51.3% in 2018). These figures underpin the messages from officers and the Police Federation that the service is at breaking point and that ‘Cuts have Consequences’.
With improving figures in relation to treatment locally the concerning responses around the treatment of police and overall morale may well be as a result of ongoing negativity, criticism, lack of support and, in some instances attacks, from the Government, IOPC (Independent Office of Police Conduct), HMICFRS (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service) and some elements of media.
Additionally, the vast majority of North Wales Police respondents, 70.6%, did not feel fairly paid considering the stresses and strains of their job.
This has never been more relevant after the Government’s recent announcement of a derisory 2% pay increase for police, which in real terms amounts to an uplift of just 0.85%. In real terms officers’ pay has now decreased by around 18% since 2009/10.
The findings provide vital evidence to inform the Police Federation of England and Wales work on pay and conditions. The survey findings will be used in our submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB – an independent group which advises the government on police pay) to help inform the pay award in 2019.
Locally, the findings will be used in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Officers and other interested parties to inform and reinvigorate some of the work around Health and Wellbeing as well as a number of the operational reviews that are currently ongoing.
Mark Jones of the North Wales Police Federation said;
“Over the last two years we have been working closely with senior managers in relation to Health and Wellbeing in addition to some challenges around promotion and selection. It is pleasing to see the improving perceptions in the figures in relation to opportunities for development and promotion as well as treatment by senior managers.
“Our members are under immense pressure to deliver, with dwindling resources and rising crime, particularly violent crime, leading to a demand for our services that has never been higher.
“As a result, North Wales Police Federation has instigated additional support mechanisms for officers through the services of RedArc (http://www.redarc.co.uk) in addition to delivering accredited training to local Federation representatives to equip them with the skills to be mental health peer supporters.
“There is no doubt that we are seeing an increase in the number of officers seeking our support in relation to their own or their colleagues mental health.”
Arfon Jones, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner in response to the survey findings said;
“I recognise the concerns that officers have, being expected to deal with the work that other agencies should be dealing not to mention the burden that the IOPC and HMICFRS place on the day to day responsibilities and this is further exacerbated by the lack of support from central government in respect of recognition and remuneration. I personally put a great deal of effort into reducing demands on front line officers and to improve processes to remove unnecessary bureaucracy that causes so much frustration for us all. I will continue to work with the Chief Officer team to improve working conditions and quality work life balance.”
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable, Richard Debicki, set out his support and willingness to engage with the Police Federation;
“The national Federation Survey is valuable in helping us to assess the feeling of staff in important areas. Policing is an incredibly difficult job, with exceptional demands and expectations placed upon our staff, in order for them to protect the public in the way that they do. I am extremely proud of the way that our police officers in north Wales go about that most important role of keeping the public safe. I know that police officers are committed to providing the best possible service and care that they can to our communities. It is right, of course, that we offer the strongest support that we can to our officers – working with them to ensure their health and wellbeing, so that they can defend the public effectively. We have a programme of work which seeks to do just that. It is heartening to learn from the survey that our officers are the least likely of any force to report that they want to leave the Force, demonstrating their commitment to the communities they serve and to the Force. We will continue to work with our colleagues in the Federation to ensure that we are the best employer that we can be. Ultimately our aim is to provide an outstanding service to the public, and the wellbeing of our staff is essential in doing that”.
New service for all subscribing Federation members and Group Insurance Scheme members
We’ve introduced a great new service for all subscribing members of the North Wales Police Federation and Group Insurance Scheme members – RedArc. RedArc is an Independent Nurse Advice Service that provides practical advice and emotional support for a wide range of conditions including mental health problems, work related stress and muscular-skeletal problems.
The service is provided by Personal Nurse Advisers who are all very experienced, registered nurses.
Once you’ve had a referral – either as an automatic referral as a result of a group insurance critical illness claim, your self-referral as a subscribing member of the North Wales Police Federation, or (if you’d prefer) referral made by your Federation Representative with your specific consent and permission, your personal nurse adviser will call you to introduce themselves, to assure you about the confidentiality of the service and to explain exactly how the service can help you. Following the initial call, the nurse takes time to listen and understand how they can help both emotionally and practically. Regular support calls are put in place, and in many cases this relationship continues for several years – this is because the service is focussed on your needs, and each of us are different. Where clinically appropriate, at the discretion of the nurse, your nurse adviser may identify additional support or therapy that could help speed up recovery or make life more comfortable. They can organise a very wide range of additional help e.g., a course of counselling, specialised physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, complimentary therapies, a piece of specialist equipment, the list is wide and varied dependent on the circumstances of each individual. In addition, the nurses regularly supply CDs, DVDs, books, leaflets and health related books including some specifically designed for children.
The RedArc service is now available for all subscribing members of North Wales Police Federation and the service that they provide will not cost you anything further. It’s a family benefit, so the service is available to you, your immediate family and dependents. The service is also available to all members of our Group Insurance Scheme (including retired members of the scheme).
If you feel that they could support and assist you or your family, you can ring RedArc on 01244 625180 (in normal business hours), or if you’d like to find out more, visit RedArc.
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