Suffolk police civilian staff ‘demoralised’ by cuts, says union representative

Police civilian staff morale low, says union representative

Police civilian staff morale low, says union representative - Credit: PA

Suffolk Constabulary’s civilian staff feel “absolutely demoralised”, according to their union representative.

Mark Trask’s comments follow Suffolk Police Federation revealing two thirds of the county’s officers are suffering from low morale after a survey of its members.

It comes after five years of cuts and uncertainty due to Government cost-cutting, and with £20.5million of savings still needing to be made by 2020.

Suffolk Constabulary employs around 1,060 civilian staff, nearly 200 less than five years ago, according to Mr Trask.

The UNISON Branch Secretary said: “We have a great deal of empathy for our police officer colleagues and how the unrealistic agenda of cuts to public financing has impacted on their ability to serve the public.

“Police staff make up 45% of the policing family and have taken most of the impact of cuts to date.

“Our members not only face similar issues with morale, which trust me is very low, but they are also routinely involved in redundancy situations where long serving and dedicated members of police staff are being forced to leave the service.

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“More than 25% of our members have gone through the ‘at risk’ process where they’ve had to face redundancy and the threat is always constant, leaving the staff feeling absolutely demoralised.

“For police staff, on top of the constant threat of job losses, has been a five-year period of pay increase restraints that have seen our members lose in the region of £1,600 per annum in real terms, national threats to enhancements for working unsocial hours and new threats to tax credits.

“The public should be outraged by the fact that their police service along with many other vital community services are being dismantled by what we see as an uncaring government agenda.

“UNISON will continue to assist our members through this difficult period whilst continuing to campaign the Home Office to stop the cuts agenda that will damage our ability to serve members of the public in Suffolk.”

Mr Trask’s words came after it was revealed almost two-thirds of police officers have low morale and one in 10 want to quit within 10 years according to a 2015 Pay and Morale Survey carried out by Suffolk Police Federation.

Matt Gould, chairman of the Suffolk Police Federation, has said officers feel “betrayed” over government pension reforms and under mounting pressure from budget cuts and a reduced workforce.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “It is perhaps inevitable, at a time of change and with the uncertainty concerning levels of funding for Suffolk Constabulary, that the morale of some is not as high as we’d all like.

“Good staff morale is something I take very seriously indeed and with the Temporary Chief Constable we must do whatever we can to support everyone during these challenging times.”

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