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Devon & Cornwall Police Federation

Devon and Cornwall Police Pay and Morale Report

10 April 2024

82% of Devon and Cornwall Police officers feel ‘worse off’ financially now than they were five years ago and 17% ‘never’ or ‘almost never’ have enough money to cover all their essentials.

According to the 2023 Police Federation of England and Wales Pay and Morale Report – published today - 90% of respondents have seen living cost increases in the previous month and 66% of officers are dissatisfied with their pay.

Worryingly, 16% of Devon and Cornwall Police officers who responded to the survey said they intend to resign from the police service either ‘within the next two years’ or ‘as soon as [they] can’.

Whilst Police Officers received a 7% pay rise in 2023, they have still seen an incredible 16% real-terms pay cut over the past 12 years.

Police chiefs have pointed out that the high cost of living in the UK is placing an even bigger strain on officers, as well as hampering recruitment. They have asked the Government for officers to receive a 6% pay rise in 2024.

Officers are also struggling with low morale and lack of support, the survey found. 92% of officers said they do not feel respected by the Government, and 54% said they were experiencing low morale.

68% of respondents from Devon and Cornwall Police said that they would not recommend joining the police to others. 66% said they do not feel valued within the service.

Nick Jones, Chair of Devon and Cornwall Police Federation, said: "The survey results and findings make for a sobering read. Members across this force are really feeling the pinch, whether that’s an overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety attempting to deal with increasing demands and workload pressures, or an unrelenting ability to find the funds to cover the essentials due to living cost increases.

"High workloads and heightened stress levels clearly impact low mood and anxiety exacerbated by the inability to ‘take a break’ or indeed working on after their normal shift.

"This seems at odds with the record number of officers the Force purport. Something fundamental must change and recent acknowledgement from Police Chiefs Council lobbying Central Government to uplift pay and remuneration, commensurate with the role and risk will go some way to restoring pride and appreciation of the Office of Constable and its purpose.

"Whilst we continue in-force to represent our members to achieve the most productive and effective work/life balance, promoting welfare and wellbeing which I have no doubt will foster a productive effective and professional service to the communities we serve across Devon Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly."

Officers are coming under attack from the public too, the report showed, with 13% having suffered one or more injuries that required medical attention as a result of work-related violence in the last year.

Only 12% of officers who responded reported having access to double crewing at all times whilst on duty.

71% of respondents from Devon and Cornwall Police said that over the last 12 months, their workload has been ‘too high’ or ‘much too high’. 4% of officers said that they have ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ been able to take an 11-hour break between shifts in the last 12 months and 31% said they feel ‘always’ or ‘often’ feel pressured into working long hours.

Sadly, 82% of respondents from Devon and Cornwall Police indicated that they had experienced feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety, or other difficulties with their health and wellbeing over the last 12 months, and 44% said that they find their job ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressful.

The survey is based on 1065 responses received from Devon and Cornwall Police officers.