Derbyshire Police Federation

Pay and Morale Survey results ‘absolute disgrace’

27 March 2024

Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton says it was ‘an absolute disgrace’ that almost one in five officers say they don’t have enough money to cover their essentials.

Some 18 per cent of respondents to the Police Federation of England and Wales’s (PFEW) latest annual Pay and Morale Survey reported ‘never’ or ‘almost never’ having enough money for their essentials.

More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of officers said they are ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ with their overall remuneration (including basic pay and allowances).

Tony said: “It is an absolute disgrace that police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public and yet at the end of their shifts find themselves in a situation where they can’t pay for their everyday essentials.

“It can’t be right that officers are worrying about putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads.

“As a Federation, we’ll continue to fight for members in relation to pay and we’re also here to support them in difficult times.”

The PFEW survey, which was released this week, also found that 22 per cent of officers were planning to leave the service. Morale (85 per cent), poor treatment from the government (78 per cent) their mental health and wellbeing (73 per cent) and pay (70 per cent) were key factors for those wanting to quit.



And with PFEW also reporting that 9,000 officers resigned in the year ending March 2023, the highest number of leavers in a financial year since comparable records began,

Tony said: “It’s concerning that so many officers are thinking about leaving but not surprising when they are treated with such contempt by the Government and might be better appreciated and better paid working in other areas.

“As police officers, we don’t have the same industrial rights as others in the public sector, and that’s why PFEW is looking at balloting members on whether they want to seek greater industrial rights, because something needs to change.”

The 2024 PFEW pay and morale survey found 85 per cent of respondents feel they are not fairly paid given the hazards they face within their job, up from 78 per cent in 2018.

That is illustrated by 15 per cent reporting they had suffered one or more injuries that required medical attention because of work-related violence in the last year.

More than half (58 per cent) of respondents feel their morale is ‘low’ or ‘very low’, while 87 per cent feel morale within their force is currently ‘low’ or ‘very low’. 

More than two-thirds (82 per cent) indicated they had experienced feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety or other problems with their mental health and wellbeing over the last 12 months.

Other findings include:
•    95 per cent said how the police are treated by the Government had a negative impact on their morale.
•    81 per cent said their pay had a negative impact on their morale.
•    73 per cent said they would not recommend joining the police to others.
•    71 per cent said they did not feel valued within the police.
•    92 per cent of respondents feel they are not fairly paid given the stresses and strains of their job.
•    86 per cent said they do not feel there are enough officers to meet the demands of their team or unit.
•    64 per cent said their workload has been ‘too high’ or ‘much too high’ over the last 12 months.
•    39 per cent said their workload being too high had an impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

PFEW national chair Steve Hartshorn said: “At a critical time where the police service is looking to rebuild eroded public confidence, a sustained recruitment and retention programme is needed to meet demand and deliver. The numbers we currently have are not enough and we are haemorrhaging officers.

“We do not need to scratch our heads wondering why they are quitting, because the evidence is right here, with unfair pay at the centre of it all.

“A fair pay mechanism is urgently needed, namely the ‘P-Factor’, a payment for remunerating officers for the harm they may encounter while carrying out their duties among other restrictions. It is there to address a series of unique issues experienced by police officers, and independent research agrees with this positioning.

“To help the Government understand these unique challenges to policing, PFEW is undertaking its own review of the P-Factor design and formula to support our campaigning on this matter.

“The survey findings ultimately demonstrate the need for committed action, and a vote for the members to make a decision around whether they want to seek greater industrial rights, specifically collective bargaining and binding arbitration in relation to pay and conditions, will be held as soon as is practicable this year.”

Read the full survey.


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June 2024