22 February 2022
This month’s message comes just after the results from this year’s annual pay and morale survey were released and it would be an understatement to say that I’m disappointed to hear that morale among Derbyshire officers is the lowest across all the 43 forces of England and Wales. Although it is no surprise that morale across the nation is at an all-time low, it saddens me to see policing at breaking point.
I hope that these results are taken on board by the Government and the Home Secretary. The pay freeze last year was an incredibly bitter pill to swallow for officers who had given so much during the pandemic.
While pay and conditions clearly had an impact on officers’ responses to the Federation survey, there were a number of local issues that clearly affected Derbyshire officers. Deputy Chief Constable Kate Meynell, in responding to the survey results, has committed to working with us to improve working conditions and wellbeing and that is something we will definitely support. Any organisation’s Number 1 priority has to be its people and policing is no different. If we are to effectively look after the communities we must first look after our own officers and staff. I hope that in the coming months, we start to see signs of change and that these changes are reflected in the results of next year’s pay and morale survey.
In the meantime, I want to once again reinforce that the mental health and wellbeing of all our members is a priority for the Federation. If anybody needs our support, or somebody to speak to, then I am encouraging and asking them to get in touch with a Federation workplace representative or the office based officials. In the meantime, please reach out to your colleagues and check in on one another because a simple chat can often make the biggest difference.
Over the last month, an appeal has also been made by a Force Taser training instructor who wants to speak to other female officers after it emerged that fewer women signed up for the latest Taser courses. I hope that officers come forward and speak to PC Lou Briscoe, if they are interested in carrying the device. I know that Lou is keen to hear from female officers, to help straighten out any misconceptions they might have, and discuss any concerns they are feeling.
It has also been great to see more defibrillators are set to be placed across Force buildings. The Federation proudly supported a bid to get the extra defibrillators on site, with 27 new pieces of equipment and 25 old ones replaced, along with 10 for road policing vehicles soon to be available.
I cannot quite believe we are already approaching March. Like me, I'm sure you all look forward to welcoming warmer days in the Spring.
As always, stay safe.