Fix the unfair funding system to improve morale, says chair


PUBLISHED 10 Apr 2024

IN News

Federation branch chair Liz Groom has renewed her call for Cambridgeshire Police officers to receive the southeast allowance as new figures reveal the extent to which pay is hitting morale in the Force.

Liz said it was ‘unfair’ that Cambridgeshire Police officers are often collaborating and working alongside colleagues from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, who are paid more for essentially doing the same job.

She said that receiving the southeast allowance could help to improve morale and reduce the number of Cambridgeshire Police officers looking to leave the service.

Liz was speaking as the latest Pay and Morale Survey for Cambridgeshire was released by the Police Federation for England and Wales (PFEW).

It shows that nine out of 10 respondents do not feel that they are paid fairly for the stresses and strains of the job, while 71 per cent are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their overall remuneration.

Almost three out of five (59 per cent) reported worrying about the state of their finances every day or almost every day, while 17 per cent said they never or almost never have enough money to cover their essentials.

The report found that 14 per cent of respondents in Cambridgeshire want to quit the Force in the next two years.

The main reasons for that are morale (86 per cent), how the police are treated by the Government (80 per cent), the impact of the job on mental health and wellbeing (76 per cent) and pay (68 per cent).

Liz said: “It’s deeply concerning to see the number of officers who are thinking about leaving the service.

“Our officers don’t have a lot of faith in the Government, who are the ones who award our pay and conditions.

“Some of that trust could be restored with support for our members from the Government in words and deed, and a fair pay settlement.

“I’ve been fighting for our officers to get the southeast allowance. It’s unfair that we work in collaboration with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire and that they’re in receipt of the allowance and our members aren’t.

“There’s also the high cost of living for officers in our county too, with research showing it’s higher than in those counties surrounding us.

“Awarding our members the southeast allowance is one way the Government could improve morale.

“Our Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner are both supportive of our members being in receipt of the southeast allowance, funded by the Government.

“They have been working with us to try and get Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) to add it to our terms.”

Liz said another figure in the report of concern was around double crewing.

Only 14 per cent of respondents from Cambridgeshire Police reported having access to double crewing at all times while on duty. This is compared to 27 per cent of respondents nationally.

“We’re a rural Force and yet we double crew less than a lot of other forces,” she said.

“It is a concern because our members prefer to be double-crewed, and they should be for their own safety.”

Other findings in the Cambridgeshire Police Pay and Morale Survey include:

Liz said: “We’ll be sharing the results with our chief officers and encouraging them to look at the issues that are within their gift.

“Last year they did work on some of the issues raised, and we look forward to working with them again for the benefit of our members.”

Read the full report here.