20% of Thames Valley Police force plan to quit, according to new survey

Sixty-six per cent of respondents said they would not recommend joining the local force
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Findings from a new survey state that one in five police officers in the Thames Valley want to quit.

According to results from the Police Federation of England and Wales Pay and Morale Report, 20 per cent of the force want to leave in the near future.

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Figures released by the Federation today (11 April), show that 83 per cent of Thames Valley Police officers feel ‘worse off’ financially now than they were five years ago.

Aileen O’Connor, Acting Chair of Thames Valley Police FederationAileen O’Connor, Acting Chair of Thames Valley Police Federation
Aileen O’Connor, Acting Chair of Thames Valley Police Federation

Whilst 19 per cent of participants said they never’ or ‘almost never’ have enough money to cover all their essentials.

According to the 2023 Police Federation of England and Wales Pay and Morale Report, 73 per cent of officers in the area are unsatisfied with their pay.

The 20 per cent of officers who intend to seign wrote that they want to quit ‘within the next two years’ or ‘as soon as [they] can’.

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Whilst the Federation notes that police officers received a seven per cent pay rise in 2023, it notes that police staff have endured a 16 per cent real-terms pay cut over a 12-year period.

Federation representatives believe that increased cost of living costs is putting people off joining the force. Further findings revealed that 92 per cent of officers said they do not feel respected by the Government, and 51 per cent were experiencing low morale.

Overall, 66 per cent of respondents from Thames Valley Police said that they would not recommend joining the police to others.

Aileen O’Connor, acting chair of Thames Valley Police Federation, said: “I’m increasingly concerned about the continuing cost of living crisis my members face due to working for a force situated in the heart of the South East of the country and living within this area too.“My members are extraordinary people who do an extraordinary job day every single day. They deserve and they should to be properly remunerated for the work they do and the dangerous situations the face every minute of everyday.“Unless the current Government or indeed any future Government truly see the value the role officers do up and down the country and more importantly in Thames Valley, we will continue to see a rise in workloads, low morale, officers struggling to make ends meet every month and offers leaving Thames Valley in their droves.“It is also worth noting that demand from the public for our policing services is still rising and while we are working hard together to overcome the pressures felt by our officers, this is a wider societal issue.”

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Other complaints recorded in the survey included, 65 per cent stating that their workload has been ‘too high’ or ‘much too high’. Six per cent said they have ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ been able to take an 11-hour break between shifts in the last 12 months and 36 per cent said they feel ‘always’ or ‘often’ feel pressured into working long hours.The survey is based on 917 responses

A Home Office spokesperson told the BBC that retaining police officers was a “priority for the Government”.