Morale for Norfolk officers plummets as job stress grows

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Rank and file police officers in West Norfolk are under pressure and are feeling the strain of demands place upon them, according to new statistics.

The Pay and Morale Survey undertaken by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) found Norfolk ranked seventh out of 43 forces when it came to having a low personal morale.

This year’s data showed an increase on 12 months ago, with 64 per cent of officers reporting a low personal morale, compared to 54 per cent.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: “We welcome the findings of the Police Federation survey and will use it as a baseline for understanding how we can support our officers further with the stresses they face every day in their roles.

“Within Norfolk, the constabulary and PCC Lorne Green signed the Mind Blue Light Pledge back in January this year, a commitment to challenging mental health stigma and promote positive wellbeing across the force.

“The constabulary is in the process of rolling out wellbeing self-assessments which are designed to help individual employees recognise the impact their role is having on their overall resilience.

“To tackle the demands and stress of unnecessary bureaucracy, we have developed innovative ways of reducing workloads including mobile working enabling officers to focus on the frontline service they offer instead of having to return to their stations to complete paperwork and forms.”

More than 30,000 officers nationally, equivalent to 25 per cent of all federated ranks, took part in this years’ survey, including nearly 500 Norfolk police officers.

Norfolk Police Federation chairman Andy Symonds said: “85 per cent of Norfolk officers stated that the way police are treated remained the biggest contributor to low morale.

“This is aimed at the way in which the government have treated the police service. We have seen the government slash police funding since 2010 meaning locally we have 300 less officers and nationally over 21,500 have gone from the service.

“These are officers who were working in our community protecting us all, answering the emergency calls, investigating serious crimes.”