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Police Morale In North Yorkshire Has Hit A New Low.

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7:05am 19th September 2013

Police morale in North Yorkshire has hit a new low according to the body which represents officers in the county which is holding it's annual meeting today.

Four-fifths of police officers in North Yorkshire have described themselves as having low morale.

A survey carried out by the North Yorkshire Police Federation found that officer morale has fallen further since the last such study was undertaken in 1995.

Some 352 officers took part in the survey – more than one quarter of the Federation’s membership – and just 19% described their morale as ‘very high’ or ‘fairly high’.

The largest number of respondents (43.5%) said their morale was ‘not at all high’ while another 36% described having ‘not very high’ morale.

The number of officers who viewed policing as a vocation has also fallen in the last eighteen years.

In 1995, some 60.5% of respondents viewed policing as a vocation ‘to a great extent’. This figure has now fallen by more than 15%.

Less than one third of officers said they were satisfied with the direction and guidance they receive from senior management and only around one quarter were happy with the support they received.

However, nearly 80% of those taking part in the survey were very or fairly satisfied with the direction, guidance and support they got from their immediate supervisors.

Under half of officers said they had the IT computer equipment to allow them to carry out their job and just 15% felt they were given sufficient training in respect of new legislation.

The eighteen years between the two surveys incorporates a period that has seen police budgets slashed by 20% and officer numbers fall throughout the country.

When asked what one change could be implemented to improve morale, many answers related to a desire to reduce paperwork and recruit more frontline police officers.

One officer called for: “An acknowledgement from senior ranks that with falling numbers of frontline officers the burden and workload placed upon individuals is ever-increasing.”

Mark Botham, Chair, North Yorkshire Police Federation, says:

“This survey shows the reality of the impact of cuts to policing in North Yorkshire.  No longer can we ignore the consequences of cuts on the officers delivering the service to the public. We are looking forward to hearing at the Open Meeting  details of the action the Chief Constable and the Police & Crime Commissioner are taking  to address the concerns of our members expressed in this survey our Officer Safety Survey and our Health & Wellbeing survey.”

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