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Survey reveals ‘low morale’ amongst Humberside Police

Only a quarter of serving Humberside Police officers responded to the latest survey into pay and morale conducted by the Police Federation, which was released today (August 30th). But of those the overwhelming majority (87.6%) said they did not feel that they were paid fairly for the stresses and strains of their job.

Drilling down in to the figures, 65.7% of respondents from Humberside Police said that they are dissatisfied with their overall remuneration (including basic pay and allowances) and 62.3% said that they are dissatisfied with their pensions. In total, 71.3% of respondents from Humberside Police felt that they were worse off financially compared to five years ago.

In terms of morale alone, 61.2% of respondents from Humberside Police described their morale as currently low and 70.6% said they would not recommend joining the police to others. In fact, 10.8% of respondents to the survey said they intend to leave the Police Service within two years. A further 18.2% of respondents said that they currently do not know what their intentions are with regards to staying in or leaving the police.

Lastly, 75% of respondents from Humberside Police said their workload had increased over the last 12 months.

Responding to the results on behalf of Humberside Police, Deputy Chief Constable Andy McDyer said: ‘Today’s Police Federation report highlights a range of issues that police forces are dealing with across the country.  We know about the changing nature of crime, with new areas such as cyber-crime increasing hugely in the past few years.  There has also been a well-documented national increase in calls for service. Both of these issues have impacted on workloads and are set against a backdrop of reductions in numbers of police.

“However, despite this challenging context, there are things that we can do to help our people and to positively impact upon morale, work-life balance and overall satisfaction within Humberside Police.”

He continued: “Since his arrival in May, for example, our new Chief Constable, Lee Freeman, has spent a huge amount of time in direct contact with officers on the front line, listening to them and hearing from them first-hand about what we can do to improve their situation.  He’s encouraged all leaders to do the same and this is helping us to identify solutions.

“One example is that officers have consistently told us that the current shift patterns are at the centre of their problems with work-life balance and health and well-being – which are two of the biggest reasons for low morale, according to the survey.  And so we’re listening to that and we’re working with those officers to devise a better shift pattern that will improve the lives of officers, and ultimately provide a better service to the public.

“We’re also making some tweaks to our structures – we’re putting in place a Northbank Commander and a Southbank Commander, to strengthen local decision-making and help the teams provide local policing that is relevant to the local area.  Our frontline officers have welcomed this move.”

Looking to the future, he said: “Our planned growth of a further 215 additional police officers will also help, and plans have been brought forward to have them in place in 12, rather than 18 months.  The first round of recruitment was really successful, with over 1500 applicants.

“Overall, I feel that there is real optimism across the force, and whilst some of the issues highlighted in today’s report are very serious, we do have plans in place to address those things that we can address, and importantly we are making all of the decisions with our people.  This is the only way to make sure that future decisions are the right decisions and that our people feel that they are fair.”