South Yorkshire police officers have the lowest morale in the country
Police officers in South Yorkshire have the lowest morale in the country compared to those in other forces, a survey has revealed.
The annual pay and morale survey carried out by the Police Federation found that of the 548 South Yorkshire officers who took part, 72 per cent said their personal morale is low - which was the worst figure for the 43 police forces in the country.
Officers also said morale across the force is poor, with 98.8 per cent describing the mood as 'low'.
Staff said the biggest factor affecting morale is how the police force as a whole is treated, with 91.6 per cent claiming it affects them.
Pay and benefits were found to affect 78.4 per cent of officers, followed by 68.6 per cent claiming that their work-life balance affects their morale.
Nearly three quarters of those who took part said they would not recommend a job in the police force to anyone and 79.2 per cent said they do not feel valued - more than any other force in the country.
The survey found that 12 per cent of those who took part plan to leave the force within two years, which is in line with other forces across the country
Zuleika Payne, of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, said: "Officers are working under increased pressure given the significant fall in officer numbers. We still have the same population size and land mass to police, but with 1,100 fewer officers is it any wonder morale is so low?
"The publication of the findings is quite timely. Only one week prior to this, officers saw the outcome of the Nathan Sumner trial following the horrific attack on PC Lisa Bates. This serves as a stark illustration of the dangers officers face everyday, with a lack of support for their endeavours.
"More recently we saw the publication of the HMIC inspection, which shows we are one of eight forces who require improvement. Again, a disappointing read but perhaps not surprising, when you consider the recent challenges the force has faced.
"It is important to remember that South Yorkshire Police has changed significantly and the demands placed upon officers has also changed. When considering events of the past, we have to maintain sight of the fact that many of our current officers were not serving at the time, in fact some of them weren’t even born.
"Despite the constant criticism and negative press, officers still strive to deliver a first class service, demonstrating much resolve in these difficult and challenging times.”