UPDATED: Morale low within Dorset Police

UPDATED:  Morale low within Dorset Police

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:54am 19th November 2019. (Updated at 11:23am 20th November 2019)

86% of Dorset Police officers who responded to the Police Federation of England and Wales Pay and Morale survey are dissatisfied with their pay - and 46% of officers said they have low morale. 

73% of respondents from Dorset Police felt that they were worse off financially than they were five years ago and 13% of respondents reported never or almost never having enough money to cover all their essentials.

More than three quarters (86%) of those who responded said they felt morale within the force is low or very low, an increase of 1% on 2018. 46% said their own morale is low, a decrease of 7% from 2018.

Police

Dorset Police Federation Secretary Ian Roe said the dissatisfaction with pay set against the strain officers are under was of real concern.

He said:

"The fact that 86% of Dorset Police officers do not feel that they are fairly paid for the stresses and strains of their job demonstrates how police pay has fallen behind due to 10 years of pay freezes and pay rises below the rate of inflation."

"Our officers should be paid and remunerated fairly for the rigours of their job and although this year officers received a 2.5% pay rise this still leaves officers well below where their pay should be. 

"It worries me that 13% of our officers reported never or almost never having enough money to cover their monthly essentials. 

Dorset Police Car At Night

"Many officers are now reliant on overtime to keep their finances in order, this leaves them and their families vulnerable should they be injured or are off sick for a period of time and then miss overtime opportunities. 

"Reliance on overtime also means our officers can become fatigued due to the need to work on their rest days."

Dorset Police have given Wessex FM this statement:

"The Police Federation survey correctly points out that pay has fallen behind cost of living rises in recent years.

"Police pay is set nationally and the findings of this survey provide evidence that our officers feel they should be appropriately paid for the difficult job they do. "

"Despite this our officers continue to display great professionalism and commitment to keeping our communities safe. Dorset is one of the safest places in the UK, testament to the hard work of our officers and staff."

Martyn Underhill

Martyn Underhill, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, (pictured above) said:

"I have seen how demand has risen while the number of officers has fallen, and inevitably this has had a significant impact on officer morale.

“In Dorset, I have made a £250,000 health and wellbeing fund available from my annual commissioning budget – separate from the Force budget – to help officers cope with the increasing strains and demands of policing. However, this is a serious problem and there needs to be a national debate to address this issue.”

'Survey responses'

362 responses were received from Dorset Police, representing a response rate of around 29%. Other results included that 64% of respondents said that they would not recommend joining the police to others. 

And 8% said they had an intention to leave the police service either within the next 2 years or as soon as possible.

See the full survey results here:https://www.polfed.org/media/15389/dorset-pay-and-morale-force-report-2019-6-11-19-v10.pdf