90 days from today is Tue, 20 April 2021

Devon & Cornwall Police Federation

Officers Doing A Dangerous Job Should Not Worry About Paying Bills

2 December 2020

“Police officers undertake complex work, critical work, often dangerous work and they should be solely focused on the job at hand and not worrying about paying their bills.”

Devon and Cornwall Police Federation Chair, Andy Berry, has reacted to the Annual Police Officer pay and morale survey, published today.

This year, 44% of respondents from Devon and Cornwall said their morale was currently low.

And 71% said they felt morale across the force was currently low.

While 57% said they would not recommend joining the police others and 9% said they intended to leave the service within the next two years.

On pay, 63% said they were dissatisfied with their overall remuneration (including basic pay and allowances).

These figures come a week after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a year-long pay freeze for public sector workers.

The survey also showed that 33% of respondents from Devon and Cornwall worry about the state of their personal finances every day or almost every day.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 57% feel worse off financially than five years ago, and 5% said they never or almost never have enough money to cover all their essential expenditure.

Andy Berry, Chairman of Devon and Cornwall Police Federation, said: “The results of the survey concern me that as we head back into a pay freeze 57% of officers in Devon & Cornwall Police feel that they are worse off than they were 5 years ago.

“33% saying that they worry about the state of their personal finances almost every day and 5% reporting that they never or almost never have enough money to cover all their essentials.

“This is a terrible indictment of a decade of public policy which has seen the pay of key workers squeezed to pay off the banking crisis.

“Professionals, such as police officers, don’t follow their career to become rich but as indicated by the survey 63% of them should not feel dissatisfied by their remuneration.”

He added: “Police officers undertake complex work, critical work, often dangerous work and they should be solely focused on the job at hand and not worrying about paying their bills.

"I believe that the Government needs to both improve the starting pay for officers and ensure that officers pay always, as a minimum, keeps pace with the increasing cost of living.

“I have no doubt that pay along with continually increasing demands on officers has led to 44% of officers in Devon and Cornwall suffering from low morale. Indeed 71% of officers indicated that they thought that morale within the force was low.

“I have no doubt that the additional operational pressures brought by the impact of COVID-19 has had an impact on this. A real indication of officer dissatisfaction is that 57% would not recommend policing as a career to others.

“The survey report has been shared with our Chief Constable and all the worrying findings of the survey will be discussed with his team and in particular I am keen that all options to support those officers suffering financial difficulties are explored as a priority.”

The figures are based on responses from 696 Federated officers from Devon and Cornwall Police.

Read the full report here