MOST of Hampshire police officers are dissatisfied with their pay and believe morale is low within the force, a new survey suggests.

More than three quarters of Hampshire Constabulary officers responding to the Police Federation of England and Wales Pay and Morale survey (84 per cent) said they are dissatisfied with their pay, and the same amount said they felt morale within the force is low or very low - an increase of one per cent since last year’s survey.

Meanwhile, 82 per cent of respondents felt that they were worse off financially than they were five years ago - and 17 per cent reported never or almost never having enough money to cover all their essentials.

More than three quarters (80 per cent) of those who responded said they felt morale within the force is low or very low. Also 58 per cent said their own morale is low, a three per cent increase on 2018 figures.

Hampshire Police Federation chairman Alex Charge said the officer remuneration figures were of real concern.

He said: “The real area that officers in Hampshire are struggling with is finances. It’s a significant issue.”

“A lot of that is about how much it costs to live in Hampshire, and we don’t have any pay mechanism that recognises that. We’ve got a £1,000 South East Regional Allowance which hasn’t been changed since 2001 when it was introduced.

“We’ve worked with the Chief Officer group and it’s now with the police and crime commissioner (PCC) for a decision around index linking the allowance, so there will be at least a cost of living increase.

“The allowance can be up to £2,000 for us [in Hampshire] however, it’s got to be linked to recruitment and retention and now we can’t evidence a recruitment and retention problem. It’s never been uplifted so we’ve gone to the force with a view to say that every year it’s becoming worth less.

“It’s worth about £600. We think there should be an uplift to recognise that and then in the future it should be index linked - we are working regionally to try and influence the NPCC (National Police Chiefs Council) about their pay review to recognise the South East Regional Allowance as a cost of living increase. It costs a lot to live in the South East and it should recognise it the same as London weighting.”

Other results included that 62 per cent of respondents from force said they would not recommend joining the police to others.

And 11 per cent said they had an intention to leave the police service either within the next two years or as soon as possible.

Alex said that that the PCC is supportive of the issues, adding: “He is supportive of the bid we’ve put in. I would say it needs to be prioritised against other things."