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Morale has tumbled, Supers warn with new wellbeing data

Morale is collapsing among mid-ranking officers, new data reveals.

The Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) have called for action following a survey of its members which revealed what it calls a “concerning wellbeing picture” of its members.

The survey, carried out between November 2021 and January 2022 shows that the morale and motivation of policing’s senior operational leaders is the lowest it has been since the survey began in 2015.

Almost 80% report low morale across the service and just 39% would recommend joining the Service to others – lower than any other year. Only 41% feel valued, also the lowest figure of any other year.

It also revealed the critical issue is remuneration as 77% said they were not paid fairly considering the responsibilities of their role and 63% say they are not satisfied with their pension – the highest level since the survey began.

The PSA represents superintendents and chief superintendents in 49 police forces – the 43 Home Office forces, British Transport Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Isle of Man Constabulary, the Bermuda Police Service, Royal Gibraltar Police and Gibraltar Defence Police.

It’s just the latest staff organisation to raise concerns with the government. The Police Federation’s annual pay and morale survey revealed 95% felt morale had been impacted by government decisions including the pay freeze.

The survey also follows a warning from the PSA last year that there were not enough superintendents to deal with the workload despite a commitment from the government to strengthen the ranks.

New PSA President, Paul Fotheringham, described the findings as “not pleasant reading” and called for ministers to act.

Demands for change included addressing the negative impact of changes to police pension, a new process to determine police pay and resourcing the Superintendents who are managing the increasing demands from Uplift recruitment.

He said: “There are many factors contributing to this, such as the impact of changes to police pensions, the high level of demand they face, the treatment of police by government, and the major impact of the police legitimacy crisis.

“Our members, along with their colleagues, are being tasked with delivering the government’s Beating Crime Plan, and with managing the largest ever recruitment drive in UK policing at a time when they are telling us they have never felt less motivated or valued,” he said.

The PSA is among the staff organisations heading to the High Court to challnge the government over pay.

But Mr Fotheringham revealed the Home Office has remained silent since the staff side quit the pay body last year.

He said: “On many occasions we have raised our concerns with the government, through formal engagement processes. We have also recently written to the Home Secretary to challenge the processes that are currently impacting on the pensions of thousands of police officers and we are yet to receive a response.”

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