A huge 95% of Cheshire Police officers say they do not currently feel respected by the Government with 43% worrying about their finances every day.
The new figures from the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) 2021 Pay and Morale Survey come after 12 years of pay caps and pay freezes for the police.
78% of respondents from Cheshire Police felt that they were worse off financially than they were five years ago and 12% of respondents reported never or almost never having enough money to cover all their essentials.
The negative impact of the Government’s treatment towards police officers and police pay is clear from the survey – 80% of respondents from Cheshire Police felt that morale within the force is currently low.
And 64% of respondents from Cheshire Police said that over the last 12 months, their workload has been too high or much too high.
Last year police officers across England and Wales were given a 0% pay rise. Household bills are rising sharply and National Insurance is going up in April. Over the past 10 years police officer pay has fallen in real terms by 18%.
So it comes as no surprise that 75% of the 282 respondents from Cheshire Police said that they are dissatisfied with their overall remuneration.
Meanwhile 57% of officers who responded said they would not recommend joining the police to others and 8% of respondents from Cheshire Police said they had an intention to leave the police service either within the next 2 years or as soon as possible.
The Federation is urging MPs to support its campaign for a real-terms pay increase and a fair and independent mechanism to decide on police officer pay rises.
Jamie Thompson, Cheshire Police Federation Chair, said: “The results of this survey come as no surprise, and we have been warning the Government of this for months now. Policing is facing chronic morale problems due to a lack of pay increases in line with inflation, out-dated conditions, and a desire from some sections of media to constantly berate all police officers based solely on their chosen occupation.
“Policing doesn’t belong to politicians; it belongs to the communities and the public. Yet it is used as a political football and in the middle are officers trying to do a difficult job with pressure coming from all angles. We are constantly been told you are doing it wrong no matter what you do. We are constantly criticised and judged by those who have no knowledge of policing and the benefit of hindsight.
“It is no wonder police officers feel the way they do.
“There is no quick fix to this as we are in the perfect storm. We appreciate that the financial pressures apply to a great number of people, and these aren’t unique to policing, however that doesn’t mean we can’t be treated fairly. I urge the Government to listen to officers, and to come together with cross-party support to give us a fair and meaningful pay review process and start to treat the brave officers with the respect they deserve.”