Almost half of the Nottinghamshire officers who responded to a national Police Federation survey on pay and morale said they worried about the state of their finances either daily or almost every day.
In addition to the 47 per cent of members worried about money, four out of five (80 per cent) felt they were worse off financially than they were five years ago and just over three quarters (76 per cent) said they were dissatisfied with their overall remuneration including basic pay and allowances.
One in 10 reported that they never – or almost never – had enough money to cover all their essentials while 89 per cent said they do not feel fairly paid for the stresses and strains of their job with 73 per cent saying they do not feel fairly paid for the hazards they face.
“These figures do make grim reading,” says Mark Petrovic, chair of Nottinghamshire Police Federation, “Police officers face danger day in and day out as they go about their duties serving and protecting their communities.
“While I do not believe anyone becomes a police officer to become rich, I do think it is reasonable for officers to expect to be fairly paid for the crucial role they play in society. Forces have their hands tied since pay is determined by central Government but it is time for police officers’ pay to be properly reviewed.
“This year, for the first time in three years, the Government honoured in full the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body, the independent body that advises on our annual pay rise, so let’s hope that the tide has started to turn already. For far too long, officers have received a pay rise that has actually seen their take home pay fall in real terms and we need to see an end to that.”
A total of 94 per cent of respondents from Nottinghamshire felt that Force morale was low with 61 per cent saying their own morale was low.
The main reasons given for low morale in Nottinghamshire were how the police as a whole were treated (85 per cent) and pay and benefits, including pension, and management of change within the police (both given as factors by 83 per cent of respondents). Other factors included workload and responsibilities (66 per cent), work-life balance (63 per cent) and health and wellbeing 61 per cent).
Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of Nottinghamshire respondents said they did not feel valued within the police, compared with 65 per cent nationally. Almost half (44 per cent) said they did not feel they were treated fairly, compared with 38 per cent nationally.
“While these figures are alarming, I think they are partly as a result of years of very little recruitment with the knock-on effect that officers have had heavy workloads and have had few opportunities for career-progression or even new roles,” says Mark.
“We are now starting to see signs of improvement though. New officers are being recruited and, while it will be some time before they are really making a difference, we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
The Police Federation carries out its pay and morale each year with the results being used as part of its submission to the pay review body as well as locally when negotiating with chief officers and senior managers.
Only 157 Nottinghamshire officers filled out the survey, representing a response rate of eight per cent. The national response rate was 16 per cent.
“While I am disappointed with the low take-up in Nottinghamshire, I do feel the results are representative of the views of our members,” says Mark.
“Next year, I would like to see more of our members taking part in the survey. I appreciate everyone’s time is precious but this is a critically important piece of work and the more people who fill out the survey the more weight is given to the results.”