Over half of police officers up to the rank of Chief Inspector that responded to the recent Pay & Morale Survey in Norfolk stated that their own personal morale was low. The stand out figure was that 94.6% of rank and file police officers in Norfolk stated that morale in their force was low.

The findings come from the annual Pay and Morale Survey undertaken by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW). In total 45,000 officers, equivalent to 35% of all ranks up to Chief Inspector, took part in the survey, the biggest response rate to date.

Over 33% of officers in Norfolk took part in the survey.

Results showed that over 60% of Norfolk police officers felt that their work life balance has a negative impact on their morale. 66.2% also felt that their pay and benefits also contributed to their poor morale. Worryingly over 56% felt the work affected their health and wellbeing which in turn has had a negative impact on their morale.

The results will be used as evidence in the PFEW’s submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body at the end of the year.

Andy Symonds, Vice Chair of the Norfolk Police Federation said: “It’s quite a stark figure and a worrying picture of how police officers in Norfolk are currently feeling. The work they do is tough, demanding, and is becoming ever more mentally challenging due to the change in crimes they now have to deal with. Our members are feeling the strain – and want to be adequately rewarded. This survey is an important source of evidence to help the Pay Review Board understand the impact that changes to pay and conditions have on our officers”

The local results also found that 81.9% of officers said their morale was impacted negatively because of how police as a whole are treated.

Mr Andy Symonds said: “It’s important that the Government, the Constabularies senior management team and the Norfolk PCC are listening to officers and act on the results. A constant imbalance of negative national media stories concerning policing, along with the uncertainty of persistent changes of worsening pay and conditions, leave officers feeling undervalued and despondent, as this survey shows.”

“Locally reductions in support staff have meant their workload has been passed onto front line officers. The increased time spent inputting data onto computers have all had a significant impact on officer’s morale.”

“Officers are pleased at the recent announcement to start a roll out in 2017 of body worn video. The Federation have been calling for body worn video to protect officers from assaults, complaints and to protect the public by securing vital evidence for courts.”

“We know a majority of the public have encouraging and valuable interactions with police officers in their communities and the public support for Policing in Norfolk is excellent. I believe the public do understand the difficulties and challenges our members face on a daily basis. We would ask them to speak up – our #BelieveinBlue is one way to tell officers, and the wider public how you value what police do.”

Other headline statistics from the survey include:

  • 64.3% of respondents from Norfolk Constabulary said that they would not recommend joining the police to others.
  • 71.6% of respondents from Norfolk Constabulary told us that they do not feel that they are paid fairly for the responsibilities they have within their job.
  • 9.7% of respondents from Norfolk Constabulary told us that they intend to leave the police service within two years. A further 19.5% of respondents said that they currently do not know what their intentions are with regards to staying in or leaving the police.

Note to Editors

  • The national headline statistics, and other local force breakdowns can be found on the Police Federation’s national site: www.polfed.org This survey throws up lots of issues which the Norfolk Federation would be happy to discuss.
  • The PFEW survey is the only police workforce survey to gather consistent data on officers’ experiences across forces.
  • Policing is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit into. FOI would show a reduction in the number of people applying to join Norfolk Constabulary as an officer over last 12 months. This may be a story for another time as the entry requirements are currently Level 3 (A levels) and is soon to become Degree level.
  • Norfolk PCC has regular formal meetings with the Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary to hold him to account for the policing service delivered in the county. These meetings are known as the Police Accountability Forum and the link for the minutes can be found here: http://www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk/police-accountability-forum/