Police Welfare Survey: The real cost of budget cuts

01 February 2016

Police Welfare Survey

A survey designed to measure the real cost of budget cuts on police officer welfare launches today (1 February) and officers from across England and Wales are urged to share their experiences.

The online survey investigates factors such as workload, stress levels, morale and fatigue. Questions also cover mental health and wellbeing support officers are offered by their forces.

John Murphy, health and safety lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), said: “We’ve heard anecdotally that single crewing and smaller teams are a problem; there are some who take annual leave just to have a day to catch up on work, and we know that sickness and stress leave is happening far too often for officers just trying to do their jobs.”

PFEW is working with Dr Jonathan Houdmont of the University of Nottingham to carry out the research. Dr Houdmont has conducted numerous wellbeing studies on behalf of Federations and constabularies to date, involving more than 8,000 officers. These studies have highlighted that officers can experience high levels of psychological distress.

Mental health charity MIND has also recently run a ‘Blue Light’ survey which also found a high level of mental health need within emergency service personnel, including police officers.

The PFEW survey aims to build on these studies and on previous focus groups by exploring two key areas:

• the nature of relations between increased demand and decreased officer numbers, and the health and wellbeing of officers across England and Wales

• what support services officers are aware of and what their opinions and experiences of these services are

The survey is open to police officers only and closes on 29 February.


The initial findings will be presented at the PFEW conference in May.

If you are not a police officer but would like to view the survey, a PDF version of the survey can be requested by emailing Mary Elliott-Davies