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16 February 2022
“The morale of our Greater Manchester Police colleagues is at an all-time low - and the knock on effect of this is a poorer policing offering for all.”
A huge 95% of Greater Manchester Police officers say they do not currently feel respected by the Government with 47% worrying about their finances every day.
The new figures from the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) 2021 Pay and Morale Survey come after 12 years of pay caps and pay freezes for the police.
74% of respondents from Greater Manchester Police felt that they were worse off financially than they were five years ago and 17% of respondents reported never or almost never having enough money to cover all their essentials.
The negative impact of the Government’s treatment towards police officers and police pay is clear from the survey – 96% of respondents from Greater Manchester Police felt that morale within Greater Manchester is currently low.
Lee Broadbent, Greater Manchester Police Federation Chair, said: “Police officers need a fair pay and conditions package for the risks they face.
“Officers join the job knowing it will be difficult, that we won’t - and can not - please everyone and that some of us will be seriously injured, or worse killed, in the service of our communities. This is the sad reality.
“We join on the understanding that we have no industrial rights, that we will be heavily scrutinised on our actions or perceived inactions and that our work/life balance will fall heavily in favour of work. In return we expect Governments of whatever political persuasion to treat us fairly and even handily so that the last thing we have to worry about as we strap on a stab vest is how we're going to financially look after our own families.
“Sadly, the evidence from this recent survey is very clear. My colleagues feel badly let down and abandoned by a government who were elected on a manifesto of supporting policing and police officers.”
Last year police officers across England and Wales were given a 0% pay rise. Household bills are rising sharply and National Insurance is going up in April. Over the past 10 years police officer pay has fallen in real terms by 18%.
So it comes as no surprise that 83% of the 2,267 respondents from Greater Manchester Police said that they are dissatisfied with their overall remuneration.
Meanwhile 73% of officers who responded said they would not recommend joining the police to others and 12% of respondents from Greater Manchester Police said they had an intention to leave the police service either within the next 2 years or as soon as possible.
Other results showed 79% of respondents from Greater Manchester Police said that over the last 12 months, their workload has been too high or much too high.
The Federation is urging MPs to support its campaign for a real-terms pay increase and a fair and independent mechanism to decide on police officer pay rises.
Lee added: “If year on year real term pay cuts were not enough to damage morale, we now also find ourselves subject to an almost daily onslaught of negative police stories via broadcasted, printed and social media.
“Where we try to add balance to the debate, we are roundly jumped upon and accused of being dismissive and/or defensive.
“What’s missing from this debate is balance. The one-sided negative messaging is landing with the public and it is eroding our relationships. Police officers derive a great deal of satisfaction from doing a good job and feeling like the public supports us in what we are doing.
“The sacrifices we are making to keep them safe. The time we spend away from our loved ones. Feeling abandoned by politicians is one thing. Feeling abandoned by the wider public is quite another. But feeling abandoned by both, well that leaves the morale of our colleagues at an all-time low - and the knock on effect of this is a poorer policing offering for all.”