Morale among South Yorkshire police officers worst in the country

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Morale among South Yorkshire police officers is the lowest in the country , a new survey has revealed.

The survey nationally found that seven in officers are fed up with the job.

Of the 503 South Yorkshire bobbies who took part, the results showed the force has the highest proportion of officers complaining of low morale.

The survey, carried out by the Police Federation of England and Wales, found that 98 per cent of South Yorkshire Police officers felt that morale within the force was low, with the average for the police service as a whole 90 per cent .

One quarter of South Yorkshire officers questioned said they were undecided about their future with the service.

Increasing workloads, poor pay and a lack of career options were among the reasons cited for low morale.

Neil Bowles, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, said he was not surprised by the results of the survey.

The force has lost 600 police officer posts in the last eight years because of Government funding cuts and by 2020 police chiefs estimate there will only be 2,000 officers – 1,300 less than in 2007.

But Mr Bowles said he understands that new research commissioned by South Yorkshire Police suggests that there was now a ‘siege mentality’ and a feeling of ‘ we are all in it together’ as the county’s bobbies battle on.

“I expected that morale would be among the lowest in the country. Some people just want to find a way of getting out of the job, it has got that bad,” he said.

“The senior command team is trying to keep things going but it is external factors that are affecting morale - the budget cuts and legacy issues for example.

“The child sexual exploitation investigation is also playing its part and that will go on for a long time.”