New research conducted by the Police Federation of England and Wales reveals that police officers remain seriously concerned about their finances.

The survey gave more than 130,000 officers their first opportunity to provide detailed feedback on their finances, personal wellbeing and their experience of policing the pandemic.

In North Wales 81% of respondents from North Wales Police reported that they do not feel that they are paid fairly for the stresses and strains they have within their job, and 74% said that they are not fairly paid for the hazards they faced within their role. This compares to 86% and 77% nationally respectively.

64% of respondents from North Wales Police said that they are dissatisfied with their overall remuneration (including basic pay and allowances), and 29% of respondents from North Wales Police reported worrying about the state of their personal finances every day or almost every day.

However, bucking the national trend, 61% of respondents from North Wales Police said that the force has managed officers well during the COVID-19 crisis. This is higher than the national average, where 49% said that their force has managed officers well during the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, 87% of respondents from North Wales Police said that the force had kept them up to date on COVID-19 related guidance, whereas nationally the figure was 78%.

Low force morale has reduced significantly from previous years, with 53% of respondents from North Wales Police felt that morale within the force is low or very low. This response had maintained a figure in the region of 80% for the last five years in North Wales, and nationally is still at 75%.

PFEW’s Pay and Morale Survey gathered members’ views on pay and conditions, as well as attitudes to work and the police service. Since 2014 it has been one of the largest annual surveys of police officers conducted within England and Wales.

The Pay and Morale Survey 2020 covered a wide range of subjects and canvassed views on topics such as pay, the cost of living, morale and the proposed police officer uplift.

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 2021.

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, General Secretary of the North Wales Police Federation said: “the Pay and Morale survey is a real insight to how police officers are feeling on a range of issues. As a force, North Wales Police has performed favourably in many areas and this is undoubtedly down to a constructive and productive relationship between the force and Police Federation.

“We act as ‘critical friends’; there to make sure our members voices are heard and ensure that the force takes the correct decisions to best support our colleagues who, bravely put their own safety and health at risk every single day protecting our communities.

“As always, there are areas for the force to focus efforts on to improve officer morale and we will continue to work with Chief Officers to make sure that happens for the benefit of all”.

North Wales Police Deputy Chief Constable Richard Debicki said “I am hugely proud of the hard work of all of our police officers, especially throughout this particularly difficult period during the COVID-19 pandemic – this has been a unique year for everyone including those involved in policing, and our officers have absolutely played their part in keeping communities safe and supporting our NHS in their vital role. It is good that the direction that the Force has provided to its officers have been recognised, but the work that our officers have done throughout should not be underestimated.

“Policing is a challenging role which leaves its mark on individuals who are ordinary people doing an extraordinary job, and we aim to provide good support and a strong welfare offer to our staff at all times. It is heartening to see that the morale of officers within the Force has improved and compares very favourably nationally, but there is always more work to be done to ensure that we support our staff in every way that we can, so that they can provide outstanding services to our communities.”