A STAGGERING 81 per cent of Hampshire police officers feel worse off financially now than they were five years ago, with 15 per cent struggling to cover their essential costs, reveals a new survey.

The revelation is contained in the 2023 Police Federation of England and Wales Pay and Morale Report.

The report states that nine out of 10 respondents have experienced an increase in living costs in the past month, with 73 per cent of officers reportedly dissatisfied with their current pay.

The study also discovered that 18 per cent of Hampshire officers intend to resign from the service within the next two years or as soon as possible. Despite a seven per cent pay rise in 2023, the report highlighted a substantial 16 per cent real-terms pay cut over the last 12 years.

Concerns about living costs and diminishing wages are being felt at the top too, with police chiefs calling for a six per cent pay increase next year to ease officers' financial burden.

According to the survey, 56 per cent of officers are experiencing low morale, and 91 per cent don't feel respected by the Government.

An alarming 68 per cent of officers claim they don't feel valued within the service, and 66 per cent wouldn't recommend joining the force.

The report also highlighted the rise in work-related violence with 20 per cent of officers saying they've suffered injuries requiring medical attention over the past year.

Some 77 per cent described their workload as too high, five per cent admit they can't get the required breaks between shifts, and nearly half feel pressured into working long hours.

Furthermore, 85 per cent admitted to struggling with stress, anxiety, or other health-related issues in the past year, with 48 per cent describing their job as very or extremely stressful.

The report is based on responses from 803 Hampshire police officers. 

Zoe Wakefield, chair of Hampshire Police Federation, said: “Policing is a difficult and dangerous job. Police officers deserve to be fairly paid and treated fairly by the Government. Neither of those things are happening at the moment so it is no surprise that officers are leaving and looking for jobs outside of policing."