The Police Federation of England & Wales (PFEW) has revealed that 70% of police officers are considering resigning from the police owing to ‘unfair pay and conditions.’
The PFEW surveyed 60,000 police officers, with a whopping 7 out of 10 suggesting that they are considering quitting the thin blue line.
The topic was discussed during the PFEW’s Annual Conference in May during a ‘Fighting For Fairness’ seminar.
PFEW National Secretary Alex Duncan told delegates that a recent survey undertaken by the staff association of 60,000 police officers had revealed that seven out of ten police officers were considering leaving the force because of unfair pay and conditions.
“It is frightening. They are not happy and not remunerated,” said Mr Duncan.
Anchoring the debate, George Pascoe-Watson, Chair of Portland Communications, asked Mr Duncan what confidence-building measures were required. He replied: “It is important to recognise the unique status of police officers when it comes to pay.”
Asked by Mr Pascoe-Watson if it was time to campaign for industrial rights for police officers, Mr Duncan said PFEW’s dialogue with the Government has not been what it should have been.
“Our survey found that 93 per cent of police officers feel that the Government does not value them. This is a real feeling.
“We need to get things back on track. It is about the full package. Police officers are not feeling the balance with pay and annual leave.”
Concluding the session, Mr Duncan said unfair pay and conditions of police officers will adversely impact the society, adding: “It is pertinent that police officers are properly remunerated and recruited otherwise it will have an impact on the society.”
On 1st April this year, MPs were awarded a 2.7% pay rise of £2,212, which meant that an MP’s basic salary increased to £84,144 per year.
The 2.7% rise came simultaneously when millions of workers saw their wages hit by a National Insurance increase.
In Scotland, the Scottish Police Federation announced that it had withdrawn “all goodwill” after they were offered a “derisory” £565 pay rise, the force’s chief constable has been told.
The Scottish Police Federation said its members would only work overtime if lawfully ordered to do so, and then they would claim payment.
Calum Steele, the federation’s general secretary representing rank-and-file officers, said the action would begin at 17:00 BST on Friday.
In a letter to members, he said the action was not taken to “frustrate any investigation, or further aggravate any victim’s experience”.
“It is simply to demonstrate to our employers just how much discretionary effort, and free policing hours, they ordinarily take for granted,” he added.
He said the action was necessary to persuade their employers to “return to the negotiating table with a fair pay offer”.
In a letter to Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone, Mr Steele said further action would follow over the coming weeks.
He said that initially, the withdrawal of goodwill would amount to:
- Police officers will not begin their shifts early.
- They will end their shifts at the rostered time unless expressly told to work late.
- If they are lawfully ordered to work additional hours, officers will claim every period of overtime for payment
- Officers will not take personal protective equipment home at the end of the day, regardless of where they are due to start their next shift.
- They will not take police equipment like Airwave radios home. “Police officers can ill afford to be adding to their domestic energy costs by charging items of police equipment at home,” Mr Steele said.
Many forces around the country are seeing swaths of resignations from experienced police officers who feel unable to do their jobs effectively.
As well as being subjected to the constant threat of ‘trial by social media’, officers must constantly deal with the after-effects of what many see as ‘police bashing’ by the mainstream media.
Morale in the police, generally speaking, is extremely low and comes at a time when the Government is seeking to replace the 20,000 experience police officers who were axed under Theresa May’s premiership.
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