South Yorkshire police officers concerned over pay and workload

The Police Federation has released the findings of a pay and morale survey
The Police Federation has released the findings of a pay and morale survey
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Police officers in South Yorkshire are the most unhappy in the country over their pay, a new survey has revealed.

One quarter of the force's officers completed a Police Federation survey on pay and morale and of the 665 who took part, 91.9 per cent said they do not feel fairly paid for the stresses and strains of their job.

The force had the highest proportion of disgruntled bobbies in the country.

In the police service as a whole, 86.5 per cent of respondents said they were not paid fairly for the stresses and strains of their job.

Of the South Yorkshire officers who took part in the survey, 71.3 per cent said they felt that they were worse off financially compared to five years ago.

The survey found that 68.3 per cent of South Yorkshire bobbies described their personal morale as low, ranking the force as the second worst in the country for the mood among officers.

Nearly all - 96.9 per cent - of respondents said they felt that morale within their force was low.

Of the South Yorkshire officers questioned, 72.2 per cent said they would not recommend the police service as a career.

One in 10 officers said they intend to leave South Yorkshire Police within two years.

South Yorkshire Police was ranked the second worst force in the country by its officers for their workload, with 83.2 of respondents claiming it increased over the last year.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "We acknowledge that the survey, conducted last year, highlighted some concerns, particularly around pay and morale.

"Our officers and staff are our greatest asset, and we acknowledge that addressing their concerns is a priority for us. Our new senior leadership team have already taken steps to address those issues which the force can influence locally.

"Measures include a new staff Health and Wellbeing Board and a recently-introduced staff Colleague Panel, which is a regular forum where staff in a wide range of roles can voice their concerns to senior leadership, and make suggestions for change.

"There is also a phone line for all staff, available 24 hours-a-day, where they can access practical advice on how to manage stress and the pressures of work.

"We will continue to support our staff and work with them and the Staff Associations, so that we look after them while they look after the public."

Police Federation chairman Steve White said: "Officers do a heroic job as evidenced by the events of the past year, yet they feel undervalued and under pressure.

"We know that officers enjoy tremendous support from the British public as a whole, which is a source of enormous pride for them.

"But something has to give, and unfortunately the evidence shows that it is these officers' personal welfare, as they struggle to meet rising demand with dwindling resources and 21,000 officers fewer than 2010.

"Policing has always adapted to changing demands. But the struggle to meet these demands in recent years has changed the outlook for many officers."

A Home Office spokesman said: "Police officers across the country do a uniquely challenging and absolutely vital job keeping us safe and secure.

"It is an attractive career with competitive pay and the pension is among the best available.

"Job application rates are high with staff turnover and voluntary resignations remaining low compared with both the private and public sector.

"The welfare of the police workforce is of paramount importance and chief officers, supported by the College of Policing, are responsible for providing help and support so that officers can do their critical work."