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More than one in five police officers planning to quit

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More than one in five police officers planning to quit

More than one in five police officers are planning to resign in the next two years, according to research

The Police Federation of England and Wales said around 22% of respondents to its annual pay and morale survey signalled their intention to quit, up from 18% the previous year.

More than 9,000 left the service in the year to March 2023.

A total of 28,070 responses from 29,085 officers were analysed as part of the survey, out of more than 145,000 from the rank of constable to chief inspector who are members of the federation.

Eighty-five percent of those polled said they are not fairly paid given the dangers they face in the job, with 15% saying they had suffered one or more injuries in the past year.

And 18% said they never or almost never have enough money to cover essentials.

This followed a separate poll earlier this month by police finance provider Metfriendly which found that a fifth of officers had skipped meals to save money in the past year.

Federation chairman Steve Hartshorn said: “It is unsurprising thousands of police officers are looking to resign and would not recommend joining the service to others when their pay has been eroded over the years and fails to keep up with other public sector workers.

“At a critical time where the police service is looking to rebuild eroded public confidence, a sustained recruitment and retention programme is needed to meet demand and deliver.

“The numbers we currently have are not enough and we are haemorrhaging officers.

“We do not need to scratch our heads wondering why they are quitting, because the evidence is right here, with unfair pay at the centre of it all.

“A fair pay mechanism is urgently needed, namely the ‘P-Factor’ – a payment for remunerating officers for the harm they may encounter while carrying out their duties, among other restrictions.”

The Federation announced in October that officers would be balloted on whether they should seek greater industrial rights.

Currently officers have no right to strike because they are not technically employees; instead, they are Crown servants.

This means that, while they do not have industrial rights, they also cannot be sacked unless there is a conduct issue.

Mr Hartshorn said members will vote on whether to seek the right to collective bargaining, and binding arbitration on pay and conditions, as soon as practicable this year.

Last week, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley called for a pay rise for officers at or above inflation, with London Weighting increased by at least £2,000.

He also wants the lowest salary levels abolished and chief officers given greater powers to set starting pay.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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