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One in six police officers ‘planning to leave’ within two years

By DPF Admin21st July 2015August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Northern Updates, Southern Updates

Nearly 16 per cent of police officers are planning on leaving the service within the next two years, a wide-ranging survey has found.

Officers told the Police Federation of England and Wales that low morale and the impact of the job on their health and their personal or family life were all major factors in their decision to leave.

Over 95 per cent of the 15.6 per cent of officers who said they were planning to leave also cited ‘how the police as a whole are treated’ as having either some or a major effect on their decision. However, a total of 53.1 per cent said they were willing to go the extra mile for the police and 78.2 per cent said they can count on their colleagues for friendship and support when needed.

A total of 79.4 per cent of those planning to leave said the perception there were better job opportunities outside the police had either some or a major effect on their decision with 73 per cent citing their workload and responsibilities as a factor.

The survey of 32,598 officers across England and Wales – representing a 28 per cent response rate – showed that 70.2 per cent of officers said their morale was low compared to 59.1 per cent in the previous survey in 2014.

Those who said morale was low across their force was at 94.6 per cent, compared with 90.2 per cent in 2014, and those who cited low morale across the service was at 96.6 per cent, compared with 94 per cent in the previous survey.

However, just 13.5 per cent said they have the opportunity to achieve their full potential in their role  and only 14.4 per cent said they were encouraged to use their talents to the full. Just 10.2 per cent said they would recommend joining the police service to others while 76.3 per cent said they would not.

Steve White, chair, Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘This survey provides extremely strong evidence of the parlous state of officers’ morale across the service.

‘This should sound a warning to those who run the service all the way from the Home Office to the College of Policing to the chief officers whose job it is to lead forces through what is an incredibly difficult time for all those in policing.  

‘Despite the extreme pressures the service is under, it is heartening that the majority of officers state they will still go the extra mile to protect the public from harm and that the police family is very much intact through the support officers provide each other.

‘It is imperative that the service works together to mitigate the impact of the budget cuts and to maintain and continue to improve what is the widely recognised as the best police service in the world.’

•    A summary of the survey results is available here.

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