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Forces with highest and lowest morale revealed


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The impact of shift patterns has been highlighted in two areas.

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard

Date - 13th August 2018
By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle
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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."


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