The Police Federation’s annual survey of Staffordshire Police officers has found that more than half (56 per cent) have low morale and 83 per cent feel they are underpaid for the stress and hazards of their job.

The pay and morale survey, published today (Wednesday 11 January), captured the views of 441 rank and file officers (24 per cent of the Force based on March 2022 figures) on subjects ranging from pay, morale and working conditions, to health and injuries on duty.

Almost all respondents said their cost of living had increased in the last month (98 per cent) and 16 per cent reported ‘never’ or ‘almost never’ being able to afford basic essentials.

Nine in ten believe that morale within the Force is either low or very low, something which should alarm police leaders and Government, said Lee Robinson, chair of Staffordshire Police Federation.

Lee commented: “I thank all my colleagues who contributed to this survey. This first-hand evidence is invaluable in helping the Federation to evidence what is really going on in our police force in our conversations with the Chief Constable and politicians.

“What this survey shows is that our colleagues are under enormous pressure – 70 per cent are telling us that their workloads are ‘too high’ or ‘much too high’ – and four out of 10 are on the receiving end of abuse from the public at least once a week.

“In addition, 14 per cent are physically assaulted every week, whether that’s being punched, kicked or suspects grappling with them. Less than a quarter always have access to double crewing.

“Added to this that a massive 87 per cent of colleagues are worse off now than they were five years ago, and this becomes a ticking timebomb which is going to go off sooner or later unless the Force and the Government address officers’ very legitimate concerns around pay and conditions.”

Lee pointed out that only one per cent of Staffordshire officers feel respected by the Government and this was the top reason given by the 13 per cent who are intending to leave the Force within two years, along with poor morale.

In addition, 76 per cent said they do not feel respected by the public, and 44 per cent and 48 per cent respectively, are dissatisfied with the opportunities for training and progression that are available to them.

More than half (52 per cent) reported that they did not feel they were treated fairly, the second highest in the country, behind only Dorset officers.

Nearly three quarters of respondents said they were in good overall physical health (71 per cent) but 86 per cent admitted to experiencing stress, low mood, anxiety, and other difficulties with health and wellbeing within the last 12 months.

Read the full report.