More cash-strapped cops than ever forced to take second jobs
07 August 2018
More police officers than ever (7.8%) have taken second jobs according to the headline results of our latest pay and morale survey. This is up from 6.3% of respondents in 2017.
A staggering 44.8% said they worry about the state of their personal finances either every day or almost every day.
And more than one in nine (11.8%) said they never or almost never have enough money to cover all of their essentials. This is up from 11% last year.
The vast majority of respondents, 87.9%, do not feel fairly paid considering the stresses and strains of their job.
This has never been more relevant after the Government’s recent announcement of a derisory 2% pay increase for police from September, which in real terms amounts to an uplift of just 0.85% - police officer pay has now decreased by around 18% since 2009/10.
More than 27,000 police officers - nearly a quarter of all ranks from constable to chief inspector - took part in our survey which was open between April and May this year. The findings provide vital evidence to inform our work on pay and conditions.
John Apter, recently elected as national Chair, said: “Although this hardly comes as a surprise, the results make grim reading. Our members are clearly suffering from even worse financial pressures than last year, with some appearing to be in dire straits.
“Our members are under immense pressure to deliver, with dwindling resources and rising crime - particularly violent crime - leading to a demand for our services that has never been higher. All they want is to be adequately paid for the job that they do.
“We know officers are struggling and some have had to resort to food vouchers and other welfare schemes. This clearly cannot be right or acceptable that those employed to keep the public safe cannot make ends meet or put food on tables for their families.
“We have continually warned that policing is on the critical list; Government cuts mean fewer officers – 22,000 since 2010 - and the resulting pressure this puts on our members is immense.”
The survey also revealed that:
- 75.7% said they feel financially worse off than they did five years ago
- only 23.3% who were not already homeowners feel they would be able to get a mortgage on their current police salary
- for the fifth year running there has been an increase in those who were dissatisfied with their basic pay: 71.7% compared with 66.1% last year – this is the highest level since the survey began.
Mr Apter added: “In recent weeks we've seen thousands of officers deployed from their home forces and diverted to provide mutual aid covering both Donald Trump’s visit and the nerve agent poisonings in Wiltshire. This entailed countless cancelled leave and rest days.
“And just last month we saw officers honoured at our national Bravery Awards, revealing truly humbling stories as they put their lives on the line. All they want is for their commitment to keeping the public safe to be fairly recognised.”
The survey findings will be used in our submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB, an independent group which advises the government on police pay) to help inform the pay award in 2019.
Read the headline statistics or visit our Survey Hub for individual force reports