Northamptonshire Police officers' verdict on pay and morale is 'is damning, worrying and catastrophic,' says Federation chair

Nearly half have money worries, 94 percent feel disrespected by government and one in ten plan to quit

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 7:43 am

Police officers in Northamptonshire have painted a shocking picture of plummeting morale in the face of abuse from public and politicians.

Results of a Police Federation survey revealed six in ten would not recommend joining the job and 11 percent plan to quit as soon as possible.

Chair of the Northamptonshire Federation, Sergeant Sam Dobbs called it a 'dismal day for policing during a dismal time for policing.'

County Police Federation chair Sam Dobbs says the survey results are damning

The Pay and Morale survey got 460 responses from Northamptonshire officers — around one-third of the force.

Nearly half have money worries, three-quarters say they are financially worse off than they were five years ago and 14 percent confessed to going without essentials because they do not have enough to live on.

A whopping 69 percent believe morale in the force is low — although that compares to 84 percent nationally.

Sgt Dobbs added: "The survey is as damning, worrying and catastrophic as at any time we’ve seen in decades of policing.

Sgt Dobbs says the survey results are 'worrying and catastrophic'

"It is published in the context of equally dismal and damning national news, with everyone having a view on policing.

"The figures on morale are devastating to us all, and I say this as chair of a Federation in a force where we are well-led and where there is general respect for our leadership and those charged with our governance.

"But a key factor was how the police are treated by the government and by the public.

"The impact on mental health and wellbeing cannot be under-estimated and contributes more and more to the issues we face as a Federation.

"If there is any significant good news at all, I guess it is that the morale figures are not quite as bad in this county as in other forces, but that’s not much to boast about."

READ MORE:

An overwhelming 94 percent of officers who responded said they do not feel respected by the government after last year's zero percent pay rise following a year of policing during the pandemic.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the current public sector pay freeze will end in April 2022 but local authorities have yet to see extra cash to fund pay any rises that may be recommended by the independent review panel.

Sgt Dobbs added: "It has always been a tradition that remuneration of police officers is rightly protected to offset our inability to have normal employment rights and restrictions on their private lives.

"Those safeguards have been eroded over the years meaning a pay cut in real terms for officers of 18 percent since 2010.

"The mechanism for our pay review is in tatters, with Pay Review Board members bemoaning their own lack of independence.

"Of course, any pay increase will be welcomed by us, but the Catch-22 is that whatever deal is negotiated for the benefit of my members, it has to be paid from overstretched local police budgets.

"This will create inevitable issues for the Police Commissioner and the Chief Constable, given that the Northamptonshire public already unfairly contribute a whopping 47 percent of their policing bill, unlike other areas of the country.

"It would be ironic for the Chief Constable to have to cut officers to make the books balance at a time when the Commissioner is committed to increasing numbers, and has put his money where his mouth is, and at a time of unprecedented national recruitment."