Officers feel betrayed by the Government

Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair Gareth Jones says members feel “betrayed” by the Government as the findings of a new survey reveal almost two out of ten officers on the Force are struggling to make ends meet.

Gareth called for urgent changes to pay, police funding and the way in which officers are treated as the survey published today (Wednesday 11 January) shows more than eight out of ten officers feel morale in the Force is low or very low.

The Federation’s annual national pay and morale survey found that 19 per cent of respondents from Dyfed Powys Police reported never or almost never having enough money to cover all their essentials, while 85 per cent said they were financially worse off than five years ago.

Some 45 per cent of respondents said their personal morale was low or very low while 81 per cent said morale in the Force was low or very low. The average across Wales was 51 per cent and 84 per cent respectively.

The survey - which gathered responses from 416 rank and file officers (34 per cent of the Force) – found that almost nine out ten (89 per cent) felt they weren’t respected by the Government.

Eight per cent said they intended to resign from policing in the next two years or as soon as they can, citing how the police are treated by the Government and morale (both 88 per cent), and pay, the impact on family and personal life,  and the impact on their mental health (all 73 per cent).

Gareth said: “These results our damning and worrying. Morale is low in our Force and across policing in general and it’s clear that our members feel betrayed by the Government.

“Almost nine out of every ten members feel the Government doesn’t respect them and that’s borne out by the evidence of 12 years of real-term pay cuts, underinvestment in the service, cuts to police officer and staff numbers, and the constantly negative rhetoric.

“It’s a disgrace that so many of our loyal and hard-working officers struggle to make ends meet and don’t have enough money to cover their basic cost of living.

“The slight crumb of comfort is that morale in Dyfed Powys Police is not quite as bad as in other forces in England and Wales – but that’s hardly anything to brag about. 

“The Government needs to make changes now to lift our members out of financial difficulty and to rebuild their battered morale.”

Other key findings in Dyfed Powys were:

• 63 per cent said they would not recommend joining the police to others
• 55 per cent said they did not feel valued within the police service.
Workload and working time
• 63 per cent said that over the last 12 months, their workload has been too high or much too high
• Four per cent said that they have never or rarely been able to take an 11-hour break between shifts in the last 12 months
• 34 per cent feel always or often pressured into working long hours over the last 12 months.

Safety, violence and physical injuries
• 35 per cent have experienced verbal insults such as swearing, shouting and abuse at least once per week in the past 12 months
• 14 per cent have experienced unarmed physical attacks such as struggling to get free, wrestling, hitting and kicking at least once per week in the past 12 months
• Only 11 per cent reported having access to double crewing at all times while on duty
• 10 per cent reported they had suffered one or more injuries that required medical attention as a result of work-related accidents in the last year
• 16 per cent reported they had suffered one or more injuries that required medical attention as a result of work-related violence in the last year. 

Health and wellbeing
• 79 per cent indicated that their overall physical health is good or very good
• 35 per cent said they find their job very or extremely stressful
• 72 per cent indicated they had experienced feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety, or other difficulties with their health and wellbeing over the last 12 months.

Read the full report.