'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
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

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat