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Nearly 10,000 police officers take a second job to help pay debts

Tuesday, 7th August 2018

A recent survey has revealed nearly 10,000 police officers have taken on a second job (7.8%), up from 6.3% on last year, because of lack of cash and the need to meet their debts.

The finding comes after an in depth survey was carried out by Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) with 27,000 police officers, nearly a quarter of all ranks ranging from constable to chief, between April and May of this year.

The survey also declared a staggering 44.8% of police officers said they are worried about the state of their personal finances either every day or almost every day.

One in nine unable to meet essential bills

One in nine (11.8%) said that they never or almost never had enough money to cover all of their essentials. This is up from 11% last year with the vast majority of respondents, 87.9%, saying they did not feel fairly paid considering the stresses and strains of their job.

Police officers’ pay has now decreased by around 18% since 2009/10

The Government’s recent announcement of a 2% pay increase for police, which in real terms amounts to an uplift of just 0.85% means police officers’ pay has now decreased by around 18% since 2009/10, says the Federation.

The survey also revealed that:

  • 75.7% said they feel financially worse off than they did five years ago
  • Only 23.3% who were not already homeowners felt that they would be able to get a mortgage on their current police salary
  • And for the fifth year running there has been an increase in those who were dissatisfied with their basic pay: 71.7% compared with 66.1% last year – this is the highest level since the survey began.

John Apter, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Although this hardly comes as a surprise, the results make grim reading. Our members are clearly suffering from even worse financial pressures than last year, with some appearing to be in dire straits. Our members are under immense pressure to deliver, with dwindling resources and rising crime, particularly violent crime, leading to a demand for our services that has never been higher. All they want is to be adequately paid for the job that they do.

“We know officers are struggling and some have had to resort to food vouchers and other welfare schemes. This clearly cannot be right or acceptable that those employed to keep the public safe cannot make ends meet or put food on tables for their families. We have continually warned that policing is on the critical list; government cuts mean fewer officers – 22,000 since 2010 - and the resulting pressure this puts on our members is immense.”

Mike Thomas comment

Mike Thomas, founder of debtwizard.com, said: "It's quite surprising that not much is mentioned in the media about police officers' debt problems. I've been helping police officers and their support staff via their welfare and federation departments overcome debt issues for well over 20 years now and have seen a positive change in the way the police support their officers, more so when I was in the Metropolitan Police back in the 70s. Then you would be dismissed for bouncing a cheque.

"It is not unusual for an officer to go bankrupt or enter into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) but provided the officer comes clean about their debt issues then their employment is safe, provided they have spoken to their federation, welfare officer or professional standards unit."

The survey findings will be used in our submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB - an independent group which advises the government on police pay) to help inform the pay award in 2019.

Individual Force reports

To view individual police force reports then click on the link http://www.polfed.org/fedatwork/3792.aspx (external website)

The Police Federation

The Police Federation of England and Wales, represents almost 120,000 police officers up to and including the rank of Chief Inspector. Established by statute, it is responsible not only for the welfare of our members, but also ensuring that their views on all aspects of policing, including relevant legislation, are relayed to government, opinion formers and key stakeholders.

The Police Federation’s membership status currently stands at 98%. For more information visit www.polfed.org

Related reading - It’s not a crime for a Police officer to be in debt, it’s how you go about resolving it, is the key.

This is my blog written a few months ago reflecting on police pay (they once got a 45% pay rise!) and how support for those in debt has changed over the years.

You can read this here (DebtWizard webpage)

Any Police officer reading this and wishes to speak with me in person can make contact via twitter @debtwizard, Facebook 'DebtWizard' or call the number on the DebtWizard website and ask for me to call you back. I will get back to you within 24 hours, in total confidence.






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