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Gwent Police Federation

Chair says survey results are a ‘disgrace’

10 April 2024

Gwent Police Federation chair Matthew Candy says it’s ‘a disgrace’ that police officers are struggling to pay for their essential items such as bills and food.

New figures released today (Wednesday 10 April) show that 19 per cent of officers in the Gwent Force never or almost never have enough money to cover their monthly essentials.

The figure, which is included in the latest Police Federation for England and Wales (PFEW) Pay and Morale Survey for Gwent, is one per cent higher than the national average.

The survey also found that almost three out of five respondents (58 per cent) reported worrying about the state of their finances every day or almost every day.

Matthew said: “It’s nothing short of a disgrace that police officers are struggling to pay for their everyday essentials.

“Police officers put themselves in harm’s way to serve and protect our communities, and should receive fair pay for the unique job they do.

“They shouldn’t have to face the uncertainty of struggling to keep a roof over their family’s heads, to pay their bills, and to put food on the table.”

 

 

Half of respondents from Gwent Police reported their morale was either low or very low, which is eight per cent lower than the national average of 58 per cent.

Pay and benefits (79 per cent) was among the top factors negatively impacting morale with how the police are treated by the Government (94 per cent) and how the police are treated by the public.

The survey found that 15 per cent of respondents intend to resign from the Force in the next two years, or as soon as they can, which is again lower than the national average (22 per cent).

The main reasons behind that intention to leave were morale (87 per cent), how the police are treated by the Government (77 per cent) and pay, and the impact of the job on mental health and wellbeing (both 69 per cent).

Matthew said: “At the heart of much of the low morale and dissatisfaction for officers is their wages, and it’s little wonder after real pay in the federated ranks declined by around 20 per cent between 2000 and 2023.

“Which is why the Federation is campaigning for pay restoration, and is also calling for a truly independent pay mechanism.

“Something has to change and this survey needs to serve as a wake-up call to policy makers.

“In the meantime, PFEW is looking at balloting members on whether they want to seek greater industrial rights to try to bring about that change.”

Other findings in the Gwent Police Pay and Morale Survey include:

 

  • 66 per cent said that over the last 12 months, their workload has been too high or much too high.
  • Five per cent said they have never or rarely been able to take an 11-hour break between shifts in the last 12 months.
  • 33 per cent feel always or often pressured into working long hours over the last 12 months. This is the joint second lowest in the country.
  • 48 per cent said they find their job very or extremely stressful.
  • 86 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.
  • 38 per cent of respondents experienced verbal insults (e.g., swearing, shouting, abuse) at least once per week in the past 12 months.
  • Nine per cent of respondents experienced unarmed physical attacks (e.g., struggling to get free, wrestling, hitting, kicking) at least once per week in the past 12 months. •
  • 12 per cent reported having access to double crewing at all times whilst on duty.
  • 15 per cent reported they had suffered one or more injuries that required medical attention as a result of work-related violence in the last year.

 

Matthew said: “Our members should not face violence or the threat of violence just for doing their job.

“As a Federation we will continue to call for the maximum possible sentences for those who are convicted of attacking police officers. It’s unacceptable."

Read the full Gwent Pay and Morale Survey report.