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Forces with highest and lowest morale revealed
Fedster + posted a topic in Police Oracle FeaturesThe impact of shift patterns has been highlighted in two areas. Chief Constable Kier Pritchard Date - 13th August 2018 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle 21 Comments Wiltshire Police officers have the highest levels of morale in England and Wales, with those at West Mercia the lowest. Results from a Police Federation survey show 36 per cent of personnel in Wiltshire say they have low morale – the best level by far. At the same force last year, 45 per cent said they had low morale – which was also the best level nationally. Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “The wellbeing of my officers is extremely important to me – if our officers are fit, healthy and happy it means we can provide the best possible service to the communities we serve. “We have been investing in, and will continue to invest in, providing our officers with access to fantastic occupational health services and providing them with the support they need. “This extends from the everyday kit and uniform we equip them with to specialist support through our occupational health unit.” He nevertheless noted the impact of cuts on officer wellbeing and the ongoing major investigation in Salisbury as issues affecting personal welfare. He also thanked officers from other forces who have been helping the force through mutual aid in recent months. The worst morale was recorded at West Mercia Police with 72 per cent saying they had a low level. Its alliance partner Warwickshire Police was just behind with 70 per cent citing low morale. West Mercia Police Federation secretary Steve Butler told Police Oracle that a number of changes at the force in the last year may account for the poor score. “We’ve had all the issues that everyone else has like cancelled rest days, and we’ve had a significant amount of change over a small period as well including a new IT system, change of shift patterns. I think all of that will have an impact on morale.” Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: "We recognise the pressures our officers are currently under and are seeking to deal with increasing demand in the most effective way. "It is of course dissappointing to see the results of the survey, particularly around morale. 2017/18 was unprecedented in terms of change with a new operating model with new shift arrangements and significant investment in new computer systems, some of which replaced systems that had been used for many years. "We know this volume of change will have caused concern and anxiety for many." Warwickshire Chief Constable Martin Jelley said: "I am are clearly disappointed in these findings, particularly when compared to the last two years when we performed very well in this survey. “I absolutely recognise the pressures my officers are currently under and I will continue to seek new ways of working to ensure we deal with the increasing demand that officers and staff are facing in the most effective way." The biggest improvement came in Humberside where this year 45 per cent said their morale was low, compared to 61 per cent last year. Federation chairman Pete Musgrave said: “Last year’s results were quite shocking but came at a time when the force was incredibly stretched and officers were struggling with a widely unpopular shift pattern. “We are pleased to see that with the recruitment of more officers easing some of the pressure on our members and the introduction of an improved shift pattern officers’ morale has been boosted.” The second biggest improvement in morale was at Bedfordshire Police. Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “Whilst these figures are incredibly pleasing they don’t come as a total surprise. "Being a force that is one of the most improved nationally with all the resource pressures from being underfunded we have means one thing, our staff take the additional strain to make performance happen and to keep people safe. "Bedfordshire Police is at least as stretched as any force in the country and this survey underlines how immense our staff are." View On Police Oracle Do you have an interesting news story? Contact the newsdesk on 0203 119 3303 or alternatively get in touch via the contact form.
Victims missing out as morale plummets for overworked detectives
Techie1 + posted a topic in Police Oracle FeaturesPolice Federation calls on chiefs to take action. Cuts have led to a substantial increase in fatigue and stress Senior officers and the government must do more to tackle a crisis in detective policing as morale hits rock bottom, the Police Federation says. It is warning the role is no longer desirable or sought after and victims may be failed as a result of worsening conditions. The staff association’s detective forum has released the results of its annual survey which found that 90 per cent of respondents said they had taken time off due to mental health and wellbeing issues either caused by or exacerbated by their work. Some 56 per cent said service cuts have had a huge impact on their morale while over a quarter of detectives felt their physical and mental health had been affected Half of those who answered also said cuts had led to a substantial increase in fatigue and stress as they battled to keep up with demand. Karen Stephens, secretary of the Police Federation national detective forum, said: “The facts speak for themselves. These results clearly show that detectives are overwhelmed with increased pressures brought on by a lack of resources. “Morale is low, people are exhausted and there is little sign of improvements to come if things stay the way they are.” Three-quarters of detectives said they were not able to provide the service victims need due to their workloads being too high. Mrs Stephens said: “The single aim of every officer, detectives included, is to protect and help others. But what these results show is that despite their best efforts, the demands of the role do not allow them to do this. "This is further emphasised with over half of the respondents saying they did not even have time to stay up to date with the latest training. “Being a detective was always a sought after, desirable role. However this survey shows things have changed and not for the better.” She called on the NPCC, College of Policing and government to act on the warning sounded by her members. Earlier this year HMIC warned that a shortage of detectives is a national crisis for policing in England and Wales. Chiefs have previously asked to be allowed by government to pay detectives bonuses for carrying out their roles, but were told by the pay review body to show evidence for why this would actually help. NPCC lead for detective recruitment and retention, Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes said: "Detectives do a vital job investigating crimes, apprehending offenders and protecting people from harm – and I know that all chiefs are proud of the work they do. "Forces have been aware for some time of the challenges that today’s survey describes, and it is always a concern when colleagues feel overworked and undervalued. "The complex nature of investigations and our work to protect vulnerable people has made the role of detectives even more challenging. We are facing a challenge to recruit and retain in these roles, which is adding to the pressure on serving detectives." He added: “We are looking at a range of ways to improve the situation, including reviewing the way detectives are selected and trained, providing improved workplace support to existing detectives which recognises how their work is changing, as well as looking at changes to incentivise more people into these important roles.” View on Police Oracle
MerseyLLB posted a blog entry in Policing Version 2015So I'm finishing my probation. Rookie/Sprog/Probie/Student Officer, whatever you call it - I am no longer. I first joined the police family 7 years ago (I hate that term but it's the easiest way to deflect criticisms of 'You haven't got 7 years in'). I was 18 and far from an angel. I had some brushes with the police but never for anything serious and I obviously had no criminal record. It was 2008 and I was wrangling with my decision 2 years prior to discharge from the army during basic training due to a relationship issue and immaturity at dealing with home sickness. My school friends were all off to University but I had identified that whilst I have an ability, and indeed a thirst for learning, this wasn't a route I wished to go down. I was working in retail banking and I was causing stirs there. I was not in any 'potential' scheme yet had gone from a cashier to the sales team in a year and at the ripe age of 18 had already acted up as the cash manager for a week on one occasion and the sun branch manager in two occasions. Noses were put out of joint by this as some staff had remained as cashiers for 15 years without the same opportunities. Whilst acting as cash manager I had one cashier refuse to do as asked but I didn't let it bother me too much as she was as green with jealousy as could be. However, I had recently been passed over for a promotion due to a girl transferring in who was on a graduate scheme and I also lost out on a course to another graduate scheme member. I had transferred branches at the recommendation of the area manager for my own development however it actually stifled my development. The previous 'old school' branch manager who had seen my potential and rewarded it with development opportunities and the odd pub lunch was replaced with a manager who was only 5 years my senior but a graduate and who openly stated she didn't see what was so special about me. I was gradually managed, managed and managed some more. Pub lunches were forbidden for me. I wasn't part of the clique here. I was given a higher sales target than for my grade without any pay incentive but denied the chance to do as much customer sales work as I was used to - instead I was to 'provide leads' for the sales team. One day - when I brought in a particularly lucrative shares portfolio transfer from a customer I had been building a relationship with over a few weeks - it was taken from me. Not only did this annoy me, it damaged my already dwindling sales figures taking me out of a good bonus zone for the first time. I was incensed. I rang my area manager who told me he was taking a promotion and that I should speak to the incoming area manager. Well, suffice to say his successor was a 'You're 18 get over it' kind of manager. I stewed. I stewed some more. I typed my resignation up on the computer, walked into my manager and handed it in. She had won. I worked my notice and left to the prospect of unemployment. Handily enough I started a new temp call centre job on the same money within 5 days and at the same time interviewed for a recruitment consultancy role which gave good sales commission. During my downtime at the call centre (I was working overtime meaning 12 hour shifts 6 days a week and a shift a week at my dads pub which all in all brought me a tidy take home of £650 a week!) I started looking at other jobs. I was awaiting a callback about the recruitment consultancy job and was diversifying my search. The company 'launch' overtime at the call centre dried up after a month. I went back to 8 hour Monday to Friday work and my take home pay plummeted to about £320 a week. A close family member is a copper and I had always watched the Bill thinking it seemed like a good laugh. My interactions with the police over my youth hadn't been all good but I had the luck of meeting several really good coppers who kept my faith in the police alive. I saw an advert for BTP PCSOs. I asked my family member and he said from what he knew BTP PCSOs were a bit more involved than normal ones. I researched BTP and was actually amazed at how much they did - I was always aware they existed from my days travelling to Arsenal as a youth. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a PC so I threw in an application. I kept having to give more information and get forms filled but this was no more involved than any other interview process I had been through so I persevered. I went for an interview and assessment which caused me no issues and then I heard nothing. I received a call from the recruitment consultants. I met a manager where we negotiated a salary package. It was a novel experience negotiating a package. I did my darnedest to make it seem like it was totally what I expected, but I was in honesty amazed. I felt elated to leave with an agreement for £23,000 basic for Mon-Friday 37.5 hours week, my annual train travel paid for and a bonus scheme which would pay me up to £45,000 for hitting target and then uncapped percentage on anything exceeding the target. Whilst the money on the table was pretty good it also had the appeal of the provision of a small expense account after my 3 month probation was up. Pub lunches would be back on the cards. I couldn't believe my luck. I was 18 and I was living the good life! My friends at uni were eating beans on toast and I would soon be living the hustle and bustle life. I was given a start day the following Monday away (1 week notice at call centre) to meet my sales manager where I would sign my contract and be inducted. I handed my notice in at the call centre and they stated that i didn't have to work my notice if I was happy to take my holiday owed. I had plenty of cash in the bank so I took the offer and was escorted off the premises. All was well and simple. Until I got a phone call. It was a lady named Selima. She was calling from the British Transport Police and she wondered if I might be available to start at short notice the following Monday. The same Monday I was going to start my high flying job. I asked how long I had to reply. She kindly gave me until the end of the day. I rang probably everyone in my phone book asking their opinion. In my own mind the sensible decision was to take the recruitment consultancy - the hours, the pay, the progression, the status, the social life...it was the clear choice for an 18 year old who seemed to be on a winning streak in life! So, predictably with me, I rang Selima back and said yes I'd like to join the BTP! To this day I don't know why I did. I had certainly watched back to back episodes of Rail Cops to learn more. I accosted our own Headset 57 on several occasions to ask questions about the job. But I can't say that it was my 'dream'. That 'dream' still very much lived, admittedly at the back of my brain, in the army. A lengthy pack arrived first class within a day or so with contracts and joining instructions and a singlet excel warrant to Tadworth in Surrey. I rang the recruitment consultancy and explained my position. I was thanked for ringing and the manager explained that his wife was a special constable and that she had described the police as a real eye opener. He wished me luck and down the phone went. The following Sunday I travelled alone to Tadworth rail station with my suitcase and met PC Bob Bartholomew there to get the minibus to Tadworth. In such a short time I was already hooked and absolutely buzzing for the future that awaited me. 7 years of policing later and I look back on that phone call from Selima. I wonder how much I would be earning now as a recruitment consultant in London. What car would I be driving? Would I already have my own home and a tidy mortgage? Would I say yes again if I went back and took that call again? You'd better believe it. ************ This blog post is deliberately NOT particularly police related. It's to remind me and others of what the police is. It's a group of people who all have different backgrounds. Some, indeed many, of us are not in the job that suited us best at the time we joined. Some of us didn't even grow up wanting to be police men and women. Many of us could have enjoyed much better Ts and Cs and possibly a bigger paycheck without risks to our health and even lives. But talking 7 years after the fact I'm still job pi**ed. Policing has changed for the worse even in my very short time. Pay and conditions worse. Morale (collective) worse. Reputation worse. Stress worse. Officer safety worse. But until those in charge make it unbearable you're all stuck with me and I will continue to throw my enthusiasm in to try and do 'the job' the way I think it should be done.
Only one in 10 officers recommend the job?
ted123 posted a topic in UK Policing Newshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33509208 Having not yet joined the police fully, this was a little saddening to read although I can fully understand why officers may feel this way. The support from the Government has to be a contributing factor and the knock on effect means the public don't look to the police how they used to. I originally read this as 78% said they could not count on their colleagues, but after reading ...it felt good to know that like in the Army, those who you meet in the Police could be friends for life too. What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with what is being said and do you feel similarly? Can you relate to these statistics?
MerseyLLB posted a topic in General Policing DiscussionsRight. I have never before supported the view of morale being at rock bottom. It's been rolled out 3 or 4 times since I first joined the 'police family' in 2008 and usually it's led to derisory comments from all corners of society. I'm known as someone who is 'job pi**ed' and I am annoyingly chipper whether it be a dead early 5am start for a door knock or a 12 hour night shift enforced due to a recent outbreak of violence. Morale is inevitably low at the minute but I didn't realise quite how bad until this week. I was scrolling through Force Orders the other day whilst sat on my lunch break of a training course. I had to double take when I read one of the names listed as a resignation - it was a PC who i used to work with often as a special aligned to his response team. Rarely does reading something ever affect me physically but my stomach dropped. I initially thought either he must be ill or some kind of disciplinary. He is one of the most proactive and resilient cops I have worked with and with that comes complaints so I saw that as a distinct possibility. I dug out his number and gave him a text to offer my support with whatever trouble he'd got himself into or support he'd needed.His reply blindsided me. He is of good physiological health and he is not in any trouble; he is leaving with less than 10 years service because he has had enough. This is a copper who used to come into work and go out of his way to look on the briefing system to keep abreast of current events and to seek out those wanted offenders who fell into the 'too much effort' category for most response cops. I didn't pry any further. I didn't need to. In that moment I knew what he was talking about without asking. And that's when I realised that I too am fed up. I've been 'Ostriching'. Every time things are just about to get on top I get a small course to distract me and I take a few days leave and take a trip down south to see friends and family. But somewhere in the past 6-10 months the tone of response policing changed for me. I no longer go to work feeling like I help people. Do I serve justice, or help to serve justice? Rarely. In the main I am used as a tool by one party to get one over on their partner/ex best mate/neighbour/brother/parent/son/business partner. I make an arrest. I seize various CCTV, view it and document it before sending it for processing. I take various statements and I exhibit Body Worn Video footage which I am ordered to use even though it hinders interaction with victims and the courts have no interest in when it shows a suspect threatening to rape my [non-existent] wife and find me when I am off duty and bite my face off (though if I tell the suspect who has just broken his wife's cheekbone to shutup and stop being a knob then suddenly the footage becomes the centre of controversy). Then, predictably, a week later a victim demands a retraction statement be taken from them. No Further Action follows and everybody laughs at the police - even the victim who so 'desperately' needed us just a week before. Occasionally though I come across a member of the public who really needs and wants our help. Just recently this happened. They work long hours. Their address isn't known to us except for a burglary they were a victim of 5 years ago - which we didn't solve. They apologise for calling us out and are sure we have more important things to do. I assure them, with a dead pan face, that there is nothing more important for me to do. What has happened with this member of the public? He has returned from a night shift and as he has got out of the taxi his next door neighbour, of an ASBO/Criminal household well known to us, has proceeded to march out of the house and punch him to the ground multiple times before the victim manages to drag himself across the floor to his front door where his young daughter lets him in having heard the commotion whilst she was getting ready for school. Little does the victim know it but the offenders wife has argued with the victims wife the evening before. The offender has in all likelihood waited in his porch looking out for the victim's return from work. The victim has severe facial injuries. We can't take a statement as the ambulance are concerned that there may be a fractured cheekbone and eyesocket. I duly go next door and arrest the smug offender on suspicion on GBH. He asks to get changed and tries to pass his clothes to his wife. My colleague intercepts and seizes the clothes. The offender has no injuries on him but tries to allude to him being attacked. The offender believes I am being over the top for handcuffing him front stack...Ive seen what he can do I am not sitting in the back of a car with him uncuffed. I explain that I am not willing to discuss any of this with him whatsoever and we sit in silence on the way to the police station. The offender is booked in and immediately sees the custody nurse for some dubious reason - I don't care enough to enquire what for. My colleague attends the hospital where the victim is in the public waiting room on a metal bench (unlike the offender who has already seen a nurse, been made a coffee and given a hot meal to eat whilst lying down on a mattress). He gives a statement where he discloses a long catalogue of petty intimidation and ASB from the offenders family. This had never been reported until the day before. Door to door proved unfruitful for me and there was no CCTV. The victim in the meantime had been xrayed and there were no broken bones. Accordingly I crimed it as an ABH. He still had severe swelling all over his face and the back of his head. He had 2 black eyes and a 2-3 inch long split eyebrow. I complete a weighty handover file and ring the victim to keep him updated that I am going off duty but will be handing over the case for the offender to be interviewed. I readied him for the fact that the charge would likely be lessened to common assault because of CPS Charging Standards. The next morning I came in. Had the case been dropped to a common assault? No. Not at all. The offender had admitted hitting the victim. He claimed the victim in fact started the fight. The fact that the offender has no injuries was not addressed. The offender's reason for being in the street at the time was also unaddressed. The offender said he was sorry for the injuries that had occurred. The charging decision: NFA - no independent witnesses. It shouldn't surprise me after 7 years in the police. But these decisions still do. Everything from the perverse charging standards to the way the offender is treated better than the victim - it deeply bothers me. I am currently off of the cigarettes but that evening I bought ten and smoked them sat in my car. Pondering. Where is policing going? Do I want to be a part of the future? We have had our terms and conditions steadily eroded since the late 80s. We have had our credibility eroded to the point that without video proving what we said we are disbelieved. We are guilty until proven innocent of any complaints made against us. We receive no support from the senior ranks, there is a new 'corporate image' to be protected, regardless of the effect on morale. The media attacks us singing the same tune that the government does. Generally Joe Public can be put into two categories: those who believe the anti-police propoganda and think we are useless OR those who find us a neutered, diluted, ineffective, uber liberal shadow of the great British Police Force. I make the same money as my friend who does unskilled labouring for 7 jours a day Monday to Friday. I can no longer tell people what I do with pride and I am meant to hide who I am in case a crazed militant decides to murder me. This is not rock bottom. However for the first time I have woken up and realised we are on a steep slope down. I'm not yet going to tackle the issues of spurious complaints, targets, overbearing supervision, officer safety, stress, fatigue, resourcing, assaults, lack of respect, budgets, vehicles, ineffective policing policy or any other of the number of individual themes which are slowly grinding down the police force.
Surrey Police morale is falling with officers saying they have 'just had enough'
Fry + posted a topic in UK Policing NewsSurrey Police morale is falling with officers saying they have 'just had enough' Out of 926 respondents, which is almost half of the total number of the county's officers, more than 730 officers said they would leave their job for another with the same salary Morale at Surrey Police is falling, with more than 730 officers saying they would leave their job for another with the same salary. A survey seen by Get Surrey conducted by the Surrey Police Federation asked its members: “If you could leave the job tomorrow and earn the same salary, would you?” Out of the 926 respondents, which is almost half of the total number of the county’s officers (around 1950), 79% said yes. Mike Dodds, chairman of the federation, said it was a shocking result, and that it has increased from 12 months ago when the same question resulted in a 73% ‘yes’ response. There was a difference in response based on years of service, with 66% of officers in the role for five years or less responding yes. For officers who had been serving for 16 to 20 years, 86% of those who took the survey said they would leave their job for another with the same salary. Mr Dodds said: “A few years ago it was practically unheard of for officers to resign and find other work. “Now many officers speak quite openly regarding their plans. “The fact that two out of three officers with less than five years of police service would leave is a very telling statistic. “The changes to police pay and pensions, the incredible cuts to police funding in this country and the drip drip of negative press stories have a big impact on officers’ morale and the way they view the job. “In addition to these factors officers can find themselves investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for years at a time, often ending with no action taken against the officer or words of advice being given. “Is it any wonder that officers are looking elsewhere for a fulfilling career? “The vast majority of officers I speak to joined up to make a difference. Simply put, they want to catch the bad guys and help the good guys but, nationally, this is becoming increasingly difficult.” Mr Dodds said that officers also spend a huge proportion of their time dealing with people suffering from mental health and missing persons, which he said could be dealt with by other agencies. “In September 2013 the home secretary, Theresa May, announced that the police had just one target, to reduce crime,” he said. “Policing is much more complicated than that one sound bite but we don’t get the funding to reflect the complex nature of policing in the 21st century. “Ultimately, officers have just had enough,” The county’s police and crime commissioner, Kevin Hurley, said part of the reason officers feel they would leave their job for another is a lack of support from the Home Secretary. “Over recent years, almost on a daily basis, their most senior leader, that is the home secretary, publicly vilifies them or kicks them for often incidents that are very historical,” Mr Hurley said. “It causes them to question their own sense of value. “Since we ask them to confront bad people, in the dark, on their own, on our behalf, it worries me a lot, and we, the residents of Surrey, should be most concerned about that. “In the county, not only are all these factors relevant, but because Surrey is more expensive they cannot afford to rent property in the county. “Whilst most of them won’t leave, what it tells you is how they feel about their job. “I personally after doing 30 years in the police, with the current package, I wouldn’t now join and I’m passionate about it.” Surrey Police deputy chief constable Nick Ephgrave said with the on-going cuts to police budgets nationally every force is having to make difficult financial choices, and times of austerity and change can impact morale. “In Surrey we continue working to involve officers in change wherever possible and explain the reasoning behind decisions which affect them through various engagement events and forums,” he said. “The force took some bold early steps in budget savings on estates, reducing senior management numbers and exploring collaboration which has left us in a more positive position than many and going forward we are now investing in new equipment and training for officers. “It is difficult balancing act trying to sustain both service and morale and one we continue to navigate. “We will work with the Police Federation and Superintendents Association representatives to try and address concerns and welcome their support and co-operation as we work together through these difficult times.” http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/surrey-police-morale-falling-officers-8893904