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Hertfordshire Police Federation

Survey sent a very clear message

22 February 2022

Every year the Police Federation carries out an important survey of its members to try to get an accurate picture of the mood of officers across the country.

The findings usually make for pretty sobering reading and this year’s report was no exception with extraordinarily high numbers of officers complaining of low morale within their force.

So, while the results of the 2021 survey come as no surprise, they should nevertheless be viewed as a serious wake-up call.

Years of cutbacks and under-resourcing, the pandemic, the pay freeze and negative coverage of policing in the media have combined to have an enormous impact on people’s morale.

The idea that it had fallen so low should be a real cause for concern for the Government and the Home Office and I think they should be taking urgent steps to try to redress the balance.

One of the most emphatic responses came when our members in Hertfordshire were asked if they felt respected by the Government.

A staggering 93 per cent said they didn’t and I don’t think the message could be any clearer.

The pay freeze is probably the major factor behind this statistic but there is more to this feeling of betrayal than being bitter about not getting a pay rise.

Many police officers feel the support they were promised from the Home Secretary never materialised, others will read negative headlines where ministers have briefed against the police and more will hear a kind of anti-police rhetoric being bandied about by politicians who know very little about policing and, frankly, should know better. 

The fact that 14 per cent of Hertfordshire police officers want to leave the Force within the next two years or as soon as possible and that nearly 70 per cent would not recommend joining the police to others says it all.

As a Police Federation we do everything we can to make the lives of our members better and have always made their mental and physical health and wellbeing our top priority.

But we can only do so much and we will work closely with the Force, which has pledged to address our concerns, to try to turn this around.

Policing is going through one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the service and everything should be done to ensure the brave men and women on the frontline are properly recognised, respected and rewarded for the incredible jobs they do.

So with the survey findings just published, it seems an appropriate time to remind everyone that your Police Federation is here for you, whenever and wherever you need us.

If we can’t help, we’ll make sure we find someone who can and we’ll work hard to get the best outcome possible for you.

Keep in touch, stay safe and see you soon.