Seventy percent of police officers have thought of leaving their force in past year
SEVENTY percent of police officers have considered leaving the job in the past year due to low pay, long hours, stress and the risk of assault, it has been revealed. Of 60,000 officers surveyed across the country seven out of ten (42,000) admitted they had or were considering leaving their force due to low morale caused by zero per cent pay rises during the pandemic, regularly having to work on rest days and facing violence on the streets. The shocking statistic from the survey was revealed by police union bosses at the Police Federation (PF) annual conference. The conference heard many officers were considering seeking better paid jobs after having to use food banks or rely on payday loans to make ends meet. John Partington, PF National Deputy Secretary, said some members said they had to "wait until midnight to go to the supermarket to ensure their wages had gone in before being able to buy food." The figures were revealed by Alex Duncan, (above) PF National Secretary, during a debate on pay and conditions, who described it as "frightening."
Single mother DC Vicky Knight (above) said her £40,000 salary left her with barely enough to pay for her son's school lunches at the end of the month and that an accountant had told her to "leave the police, work 22 hours a week and claim benefits to be better off." The Government is in the process of boosting overall police officer numbers by 20,000, and has so far had to take on 31,000 new recruits just to increase numbers by just over 13,000 due to retirements and huge numbers of existing officers leaving. This has led to fears there will be a largely inexperienced police force nationally. Mr Duncan added: "It's frightening. We have seen times in the past of a large exodus and won't have the experience and knowledge to train the next generation as they look to leave because of no remuneration." Voluntary redundancies have gone up by 104 per cent in the past few years, the conference was told. He added: "Our survey found that 93 per cent of police officers feel that the Government does not value them. This is a real feeling. We need to get things back on track. "The police is a critical part of any democratic society and if you don't invest in it society will pay the price and once you lose it is nigh on impossible to get it back." One fear raised was that forces are not learning why so many officers are leaving because they fail to carry out any exit interviews.