A third of police staff set to leave the force

A third of Police Scotland’s staff intend leaving the force in the next three years, a sign that the workforce feels neglected, undervalued and under stress.

A Police Scotland staff survey showed high levels of dissatisfaction with the  force.
A Police Scotland staff survey showed high levels of dissatisfaction with the  force.
A Police Scotland staff survey showed high levels of dissatisfaction with the force.

The figure is revealed in a Police Scotland workforce survey and public sector UNISON Scotland say the result is not a surprise.

George McIrvine, UNISON Police Staff Branch Secretary said: “UNISON has said for a long time that there are major issues that need addressing. The fact that only 9 per cent of staff believe that genuine engagement will result from the survey is deeply concerning. Thirty-three per cent of staff indicating that they intended leaving the organisation is indicative of a workforce who feel neglected, undervalued and under stress.”

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Mr McIrvine demanded: “The Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland must act on these outcomes.”

Just over half of Police Scotland’s 23,000 strong workforce responded to the survey. which also showed almost half of respondents feeling overloaded with information.

Just eight per cent of officers and support staff thought the organisation was interested in their wellbeing.

Andrew Flanagan, Chair of the Scottish Police Aauthority (SPA), commented: “The results speak for themselves and we will not seek to rationalise them away.”

He added that while there some very positive findings in the survey: “There are also issues of concern and areas for improvement.

“The clear priority areas are the commitment of officers and staff to stay with the organisation, health and wellbeing, and communications. It is on those priority areas that the SPA expects a strong management response, and on which SPA will use its influence and oversight.

UNISON’S Gerry Crawley, added: “The SPA and PoliceScotland have received a clear message from UNISON members who work in the service and are committed to delivering an excellent service to the public in Scotland.

“And the message is this: don’t under value our roles, don’t ignore our issues, listen to our opinions and act on them.”

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Police Scotland say they will now prepare a detailed plan in response to the surver, informed by “further engagement with the workforce.” That will be followed by a “temperature test” survey of the workforce in a year’s time. A full workforce survey will be repeated in the summer of 2017, which to force hopes will show material improvements where improvement is required.