MORALE among Staffordshire Police officers is at rock bottom as they increasingly feel ‘ground down’ by the pressures they are under, says the Staffordshire Police Federation.

Over 500 officers have been cut from the frontline in the county since 2010, a major contributing factor to officers’ state of mind, says Federation Chairman Keith Jervis.

“We’ve lost nearly a third of our officers in that time,” he said.

“And that reduction has an impact on officer wellbeing, especially recently with all the demands placed on them from the World Cup, having rest days cancelled and a general increase in demand – it’s just not sustainable.”

It’s all led to officers having to take time off with stress – 150 Staffs officers took time away from their duties with stress, PTSD, depression last year.

“More colleagues and more funding from the Government would certainly help combat the stress and strains that officers are under at the moment,” Keith said.

“The Government says we need to make efficiency savings. There is no more flesh to cut, we are down to the bone.

“I still go out and work operational days occasionally and I see how bad it is. We need to be honest with the public and say there are some crimes that you would have in the past expected us to have come to and dealt with, but that’s not going to happen anymore.

“An understanding of this and the impact of going to life-threatening or life-changing emergencies can have on officers has to be there too,” he added.

“It’s what they do day in and day out and, in the past, there was perhaps an expectation that they should man up and carry on.

“That’s not right, we have to be there to support them. Welfare for them has to be in place because they are being broken by what we are expecting them to do.”

Keith is urging any officer who may be feeling the symptoms of depression and stress to come forward and talk about it.

“Nationally the Federation has a welfare support programme and locally in Staffordshire we have a really, really good occupational health department that are really supportive.

“But they are not mind readers – we really need officers to tell us how they are doing, so declare how you feel, come forward and tell your line manager that you are struggling.

“Then we can recognise it and do something about it.”