§ Miss Widdecombe
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the level of police morale in England and Wales. 63W
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
There is no single or precise measure of police morale. In any service one will find some people who are happy about their work and others who are less than happy.
The number of people leaving a profession may be taken as an indicator of morale. Total wastage from the police service is very low. Figures for the last four years are given in the table. As total wastage includes ordinary retirements of officers who have completed 30 years service, the table also shows the number of voluntary resignations from the service.
Number Total police strength at 31 March 19961 126,901 Total police strength at 31 March 19971 127,158 Total police strength at 31 March 19981 126,814 Total police strength at 31 March 19991 126,096 1 Full time equivalents
Total wastage1 Resignations1 Number Percentage of total strength Number Percentage of total strength 1996–97 5,951 4.7 774 0.6 1997–98 6,657 5.2 988 0.8 1998–99 6,104 4.8 1,083 0.9 1999–2000 5,948 4.7 1,236 1.0 1 Number of persons
Comparative figures for the Civil Service are as follows:
Number Total Civil Service strength at 1 April 19951 474,880 Total Civil Service strength at 1 April 19961 458,660 Total Civil Service strength at 1 April 19971 439,310 1 Full time equivalents
1995–96 1996–97 1997–98 Total wastage1 Number 43,680 47,900 35,070 Percentage of total strength 9.2 10.4 8.0 Resignations1 Percentage of total strength 2.4 2.6 3.2 1 Headcount
Days lost to sickness may also be an indicator of morale. In 1996–97 the average number of days sickness per police officer was 12.80. This declined to 11.55 or by 1.25 days per officer by 1999–2000.
Pay rates may also have an effect on morale. According to the New Earnings Survey, at April 2000 average gross weekly earnings of full-time employees in Great Britain were:
- £464.70 for non-manual workers in the whole economy
- £485.20 for non-manual workers in the private sector
- £428.80 for non-manual public sector workers
- £438.10 for non-manual workers in local government
- £499.30 for local authority teachers
- £541.80 for the police.