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Police Federation

Police leaders warned survey results should not be dismissed

4 December 2020

National Chair John Apter

National Chair John Apter

The National Chair has warned police leaders not to dismiss the voice of 25,000 Federation members after a PFEW survey was released this week and found 65 per cent of respondents reported that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their morale.

John Apter challenged police Chiefs and Crime Commissioners to ensure the views of rank and file officers had a meaningful impact on staff wellbeing and cautioned them against ‘cherry-picking’ positive survey findings.

PFEW’s influential Pay and Morale Survey gathered members’ views on pay and conditions, as well as attitudes to work and the police service, and since 2014 has been one of the largest annual surveys of police officers conducted within England and Wales.

Released this week, the survey also starkly illustrated the effects of pay and benefits, with 73 per cent claiming this factor had a negative effect on their morale.

Mr Apter said: ““One really positive outcome from the survey is that on the morale side, I’ve already been contacted by some Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners who want to help members.

“However, policing as a whole has to take this survey really seriously and firmly on the chin. We mustn’t allow some police leaders to just cherry pick the good parts to make their force look good.

“I certainly won’t spin the voice of members in any way. So, my warning is not to dismiss the voice of 25,000 officers who are asking for help and support in difficult times. That would be unforgiveable, and that’s not leadership.

“Nobody should be disputing the findings of this survey. They should simply be asking themselves: ‘What am I going to do about the voice of PFEW members?’

“We have provided compelling evidence to Chiefs, PCCs and police leaders, and the ball is in their court to do something positive about this and to communicate this to members directly.

“I’m passionate about officer wellbeing and about doing the right thing for colleagues. However, I know there is no magic wand which will make everything absolutely perfect.

“But there are some great initiatives going on within wellbeing to help colleagues who are struggling. Why isn’t more being done for colleagues who need help the most? Therefore it’s time for police leaders to step up to the plate and not simply dismiss the authentic voice of rank and file police officers.”

Other Pay and Morale Survey 2020 findings:

  • Around a third of respondents were worried about the state of their personal finances either every day or almost every day (37 per cent)
  • Respondents were most likely to say their morale has a major impact on their intention to leave (72 per cent) and that how the police are treated had a major impact on their intention to leave (70 per cent)

National reports

Attitudes Towards Pay
Morale and Engagement
Cost of Living
COVID Report
Professional Development
Uplift Report
Technical Annex

Local reports can be found on our Survey Hub.

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