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11 January 2023
Almost two thirds of Gwent Police Federation members would not recommend a career in policing to others, according to a new report.
The Police Federation’s 2022 pay and morale survey, which was published today (Wednesday 8 January), also revealed that one in ten officers planned to quit the Force within the next two years or as soon as possible.
The three main reasons given for wanting to leave were morale, pay and how the police are treated by the public.
But officers across the Force are still among the most satisfied in the country, according to the survey.
It found fewer than half (45 per cent) of respondents felt their morale was low or very low although 84 per cent said they believed morale within the Force was low or very low.
Only Humberside, Dyfed Powys and Nottinghamshire officers said their morale was higher.
The survey also revealed that 92 per cent of respondents did not feel respected by the Government, 64 per cent did not feel valued within the Force and 64 per cent would not recommend joining the police to others.
Just over half (51 per cent) said that they found their job very or extremely stressful while 85 per cent indicated they had experienced feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety or other difficulties with their health and wellbeing over the last 12 months.
Police pay remains a major issue among the Force with almost eight in ten respondents (78 per cent) dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their overall remuneration (including basic pay and allowances).
Almost all (97 per cent) reported their cost of living had increased in the last month, with an increase in the price of their food shop being the most cited reason and 82 per cent of respondents said they were worse off financially than they were five years ago.
The survey found 17 per cent of respondents never or almost never had enough money to cover all their essentials.
Gwent Police Federation chair Matthew Candy said: “It is clear from the report that pay and conditions are still the number one issue for our members which is why our national campaign for fair pay for policewill continue throughout 2023.
“We are in the midst of a cost of living crisis and some of our members are genuinely struggling to make ends meet on their current salary and we think that is totally unacceptable.
“The Government has to do the right thing on pay and conditions this year or officer morale - which in fairness is higher in Gwent than most other forces across England and Wales - will take another bashing and the number of good men and women who want to leave the service will continue to rise.”
The Police Federation received 269 responses from Gwent branch members, representing a response rate of around 19 per cent, and the findings were broadly in line with those from the other three Welsh forces.
Data from the survey will be used as evidence to help the Police Federation push for improved pay and conditions across the service in England and Wales.