Humberside Police boasts the best officer morale in England and Wales.
Meanwhile, the Police Federation has criticised a force-wide pay freeze which has left almost 40% of the region’s officers worrying about money every day.
The Police Federation published its annual Pay and Morale Survey on February 16, showing national dissatisfaction, with 95% of the 29,587 officers that responded saying their treatment has a negative impact on morale.
In Lincolnshire, it was found that 94% of respondents found the government’s treatment of police to negatively affect the mood of the force, while just over 90% said general force morale was low.
However, Humberside Police, which covers North and North East Lincolnshire, reported the highest morale levels for any force in England and Wales, with just 45% of the 1,023 officers that took part in the survey saying the mood was low in the area’s police force.
Comparatively to Lincolnshire, Humberside also reported a high figure when it comes to government treatment, with 89% of Humberside Police officers saying they do not feel respected by those in power in Downing Street, following the fallout of the government’s party-gate scandals through COVID-19 lockdown.
Chief Constable Lee Freeman of Humberside Police said; “Despite challenging times at a national level, Humberside Police continue to report the highest levels of morale amongst frontline officers across all forces in England and Wales.
“It is reassuring to see these results again, as despite the many challenges facing police officers across the country, Humberside officers again report that they feel more valued, supported and aligned to what we are trying to do for our communities than any force in the country.
“These results are an endorsement of how Humberside Police continues to improve. They reflect the day to day support and leadership that officers see from their supervision and managers, it reflects how staff buy into how the force is run and I believe it reflects that officers have seen action and not just words in how the force supports them to do the job that they signed up for.”
It comes as Humberside Police are again named in the final three for the Police Force of the Year award, after winning silver in 2021. The results will be on March 10, with the winners announced at the Public Sector Transformation Awards in London.
However, the survey also flagged up other issues within the force, including a national decision to not increase pay for officers, and it equates to a real terms fall of 18% over the last ten years for police.
68% of Humberside respondents said they were dissatisfied with the pay grade, while 65% felt they were worse off financially than they were five years ago, and 12% even reported almost never having enough money to cover essentials.
As well as this, 61% said that their workload has been too high or much too high over the last 12 months, and the Humberside Police Federation has said the findings of the survey are no shock.
Lee Sims, Humberside Police Federation Chair, said: “There sadly aren’t too many surprises in this survey. Hardworking Humberside Police colleagues haven’t had a pay rise since 2020 – and we fear whatever rise is coming this year will be nowhere near in line with what is booming inflation.
“The cost of everything is going up. Police officer pay has not. The Government clearly has no understanding of the pressures of policing or what our members are out there doing – tackling violent criminals, putting robbers behind bars, locking up sex offenders and let’s not forget keeping the public safe during a global pandemic.
“We should be paid accordingly for that work. But we are not. Officers shouldn’t be out on shifts worrying about paying their bills.
“New recruits are starting on such a comparatively low wage for the work they do, the demands on their home lives and the risks we face. The fact police pay is 18% below where it should be – behind the cost of living – over the last decade is a disgrace. We have to ask are we going to retain the fantastic and courageous police officers who are our future?”