Police Federation of England and Wales survey highlights the reality of low morale of police officers

PFEW’s 2021 Pay and Morale survey also revealed how officers feel they are not being paid fairly for risking their own wellbeing in the line of duty.

The survey has illustrated the increasing dissatisfaction with remuneration in policing, with 81% of North Wales Police officers reporting that they are dissatisfied with their pay. This is up from 64% in 2020. Additionally, 74% feel that they are financially worse off than they were 5 years ago, and 12% are concerned that they do not have sufficient funds to last from one month to the next.

94% said that they are not paid fairly for the stresses and strains of the job, and 88% do not feel fairly paid for the hazards that officers face.

Last year, PFEW wrote to Downing Street expressing how our membership feels towards the Government, demanding it overturns its pay award decision and calling for a fairer pay review system. To date, no response has been received. The results of our Pay and Morale Survey clearly illustrate the anger and disillusionment of our brave colleagues and cannot be ignored.

The survey also evidences a growing crisis in the wellbeing and mental health of those who head towards danger. 63% of respondents from North Wales declared that they are suffering from low morale, this is higher than the national average; and 85% feel that the morale of the Force is low – an increase from 53% in 2020.

Sadly, 95% said that they do not feel respected by the Government, highlighting the negative impact of the Government’s attitude towards policing and police pay. And, perhaps even sadder, 83% of North Wales officers do not feel that they are respected by the public that they serve.

Mark Jones, General Secretary of the North Wales Police Federation said:

“Police officers are realistic professionals who fully understand the public purse is not a bottomless pit. But the sheer unfairness of being snubbed for a deserved pay rise, added to rising inflation, the effects of austerity cuts and the pandemic, plus of course the forthcoming impact of the National Insurance increase, will not be forgotten by our 130,000 plus members across England and Wales.

“The entire service is underfunded, and police officers have been totally undervalued by this government, and therefore the relationship between those responsible for the public purse and those who serve the public has been damaged almost beyond repair. The Government has lost the trust of colleagues, and its wilfully negligent attitude towards pay and funding has been devastating to morale and could impact on the service’s capability for decades to come.

“There is quite evidently a growing crisis in the wellbeing and mental health of those who head towards danger and a defined link between these issues and the diminishing pay packets.

“There can be little doubt police officers more than stepped up during the pandemic, when they faced rising levels of assaults and almost unenforceable legislation. The Government then saw fit to ‘reward’ colleagues with a zero per cent pay increase, utilising an inherently unfair pay review process which ignored detailed PFEW representations and was biased against rank-and-file officers.

“People are our biggest and most valuable asset, and those in power need to realise if they continue to take police officers for granted the service will become less and less attractive as a worthwhile career. It is unprecedented so many of our members want to resign before they have completed their full service, and for the future of policing this crisis needs to be urgently addressed through better pay and a new focus on the wellbeing of colleagues.”

You can read the full report here.