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7 August 2018
Nearly half of all police officers worry about their personal finances every day, a new report has revealed, with some ‘having to use food vouchers’ just to get by.
The shocking Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) Pay and Morale survey showed that 44% of officers have money concerns which they think about 'every day or every other day’.
Worryingly, more officers than ever before are saying they are being forced to take second jobs in order to meet their monthly financial commitments, with nearly 12% saying they cannot currently cover the essentials.
Last month’s pay review awarded officers a 2% rise, but because the 2017 pay award consisted of a 1% rise and a 1% one-off bonus, it means that officers are effectively only getting another 1% in their pay packets.
Disenchantment around pay drove 89% of officers taking part in the survey to say they did not feel fairly compensated for what they do.
“It’s pretty grim reading,” said John Apter, PFEW Chair, who added that some members are having to use food vouchers and other welfare schemes.
“Unfortunately, it’s not altogether surprising. Our members are clearly suffering from even worse financial pressures than last year and some are appearing to be in dire straits.
“Officers are under enormous pressure to deliver, with dwindling resources and rising crime, particularly violent crime, leading to a demand for our services that has never been higher.
“All they want is to be adequately paid for the job they do.
“We know officers are struggling and some have had to resort to food vouchers.
“It is clearly unacceptable that they cannot make ends meet or even put food on their families’ tables,” he added.
“We have constantly warned that policing is on the critical list – the cuts in officer numbers is putting immense pressure on officers.”
Other headline figures from the survey show that 75% of officers feel worse off than they did five years ago and that 71% felt dissatisfied with their basic pay level – more than at any other time.
The findings will be put forward by the PFEW as part of their annual submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body.
John added: “Over the past few weeks we’ve seen thousands of officers deployed from their home forces and diverted to provide mutual aid covering the visit of Donald Trump and the Wiltshire poisonings, entailing countless leave and rest days.
“And last month we were celebrating officer bravery at the National Bravery Awards, which were truly humbling stories of them putting their lives on the line.
“All officers want is for their commitment to keeping the public safe to be fairly recognised.”
To see the full report, visit http://www.polfed.org/fedatwork/3792.aspx