'National crisis' in police morale says former head of Met

 

The former head of the Metropolitan Police has said there is a “national crisis” in police morale after research revealed 95% of serving officers do not feel they have the support of the Government.

Lord Stevens, who was the Met's commissioner from 2000 until 2005, warned that many officers believed that austerity-related reforms to the police service were being forced upon them without any consultation.

The ex-officer, who is currently chairing the Independent Commission on the Future of Policing, told The Sunday Telegraph: "We have a national crisis of morale which threatens to undermine the work our officers are doing.

"If we're asking men and women to put their lives on the line to protect us, then I think they should know they've got the full support of the Government.

"These results show that they do not perceive this to be the case."

Emphasising that morale has drastically dropped among officers in recent times, he added :"I think we're plummeting to the bottom."

A study conducted on behalf of Lord Steven's commission polled 14,000 serving officers, from constables to chief superintendents.

It found 95% did not feel they have the support of the Coalition, while only 0.1% of those surveyed thought ministers offered the service "a great deal of support."

Lord Stevens said he had never seen such figures in more than 40 years of policing.

The Home Office has demanded that forces axe 20% from their budgets by 2015, while officers are facing a pay freeze, pension reform and big changes to how the service is run.

Lord Stevens said: "We're hearing from officers that change is happening too fast and with a lack of consultation.

"They feel change is being forced upon them, without them being involved in the process."

The research found that a third of officers were "very worried" about being forced to retire because of cuts.

Lord Stevens added: "I don't think people are pleased with pay freezes and changes to their pensions, but I also think it's about how they've been given the credit for the job they've done."

The commission was set up by the Labour Party last year with shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper inviting the peer to become the chair.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy