Listen to what police staff have to say, Home Office told

UNISON surveys 4,500 police staff members on issues facing them as home secretary conducts ‘frontline review’ to ‘better understand’ service’s experience and needs

Photograph of police officers and PCSOs in high vis jackets

The Home Office’s “frontline review” of policing needs to be aware of how police staff are suffering from austerity and government cuts, says UNISON following a survey of 4,500 members.

The union conducted the confidential online survey to give its members the opportunity to “tell it like it is”. It came after Home Secretary Sajid Javid launched his review in summer 2018 to “better understand” the workplace experience and needs of frontline police staff and officers.

UNISON will publish the full results of the survey covering all police staff later this year.

But highlights from the responses of members who identified themselves as “frontline” can be seen in the panel below.

47% said their work had a negative effect on their wellbeing

73% said their line manager is supportive all, or some, of the time

40% had not undertaken any work-related training or study in the last 12 months

79% said there was no defined career development structure for their current job or type of work

53% said they were not encouraged to suggest ideas for improving their job or the wider work of their force

72% said their views are not taken into account when their force is proposing changes.

UNISON national officer Ben Priestley said the survey findings “are of real concern to UNISON.

“Forces are not listening to their frontline police staff and not consulting them properly on change or providing them with proper career development.”

He added that, overall, the survey responses “are a vivid and honest commentary on the state of frontline policing”. And while some of the UNISON members surveyed concentrated on the problems faced by staff, many also proposed solutions.

“These voices deserve to be heard and responded to, both by police leaders and by the government,” declared Mr Priestley.