Pay and Morale Survey 2023

Think tank: Social Market Foundation

Author(s): Social Market Foundation; Police Federation of England and Wales

March 20, 2024

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation presents insights into the state of pay and morale of the police force.

Low pay and poor conditions have resulted in workforce challenges across the public sector, and the police force is no exception.

This Social Market Foundation report, written in partnership with the Police Federation of England and Wales, collates the views of 28,000 police officers to present insights into the state of pay and morale on the police force.

Morale among the police force is poor and worsening, both for officers personally and the force as a whole. 58% of officers said their morale was low, while 91% felt the same was true of the force. The drivers of this low morale are perceived lack of support from the government and the public, as well as inadequate pay, and this low level of morale is having a real impact on staff retention and recruitment.

Officers feel that their pay is especially inadequate considering the unique risks of police work. 11% of officers reported having experienced unarmed physical attacks and 34% had experienced verbal insults at least once per week in the past 12 months. Workload is also a consideration, as 33% reported having always or often felt pressured into working long hours over the previous 12 months.

Meanwhile, the cost of living crisis is exacerbating concerns around pay, with many officers hit hard –18% reported that they never or almost never had enough money to cover their essentials.

This report is also hosted on the Police Federation of England and Wales website.