Hampshire and Dorset police officers feel 'betrayed' by government, says Police Federation survey
MORALE is low among police in Hampshire and Dorset, a survey has indicated, with officers said to be feeling “betrayed” by the government.
The research by the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents the rank and file, prompted calls for a review of conditions after years of pay caps and freezes.
It showed 91% of 958 Hampshire officers who responded did not feel respected by the government, with 78% dissatisfied with their remuneration.
Zoe Wakefield, chair of the county’s Police Federation, said members who worked through the pandemic felt “betrayed by this government” and it was “really sad but not surprising” 57% of officers who responded would not recommend joining.
“Changes need to be made to police pay, funding, recruitment and the constant negative rhetoric from the government,” she added.
Further results showed 73% felt morale was currently low; 69% said their workload was too high in the past 12 months and 10% intended to leave within the next two years.
The numbers were similar in Dorset, which had 163 survey respondents.
James Dimmack, Dorset Police Federation chair, said it was “a sad reflection of the state of policing”, adding: “Goodwill is a precious commodity. However, it is not infinite.”
In Dorset 94% of police respondents did not feel respected by government, 86% felt morale was low, while 64% said their workload was too high in the past 12 months.
The Home Office pointed out pay and allowance recommendations were made by the Police Remuneration Review Body.
But it said it was “determined to ensure the nation does more to honour the service and sacrifice of the police” and had recently introduced the Police Covenant to recognise their commitment.
“To help further support policing in Hampshire and Dorset, Hampshire Constabulary and Dorset Police will receive up to £567.8m in 2022/23; an increase of up to £29.1m when compared to the previous year,” said a spokesperson.
“We have also recruited over 11,000 additional officers as part of our commitment to recruit 20,000 officers across England and Wales.”