'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
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders