We welcome the publication of today's PFEW Pay and Morale Survey report as it lays out many of the challenges faced within the policing service.
Whilst the report is focused on officers it is important to recognise that the policing family is made up of officers, staff and volunteers - all of whom have been impacted by the challenges of responding to an unprecedented national crisis alongside busy day-to-day roles keeping our public safe and protecting communities. We are incredibly proud of the efforts of all those who work within the Force and particularly our frontline officers and staff who put themselves in harm's way to protect others.
This survey has been running for a number of years now and is something we pay close attention to - our aspiration is to be an outstanding employer so the findings within this survey and our own internal engagement with our officers and staff helps us to improve where we can and make the Force the best we can for those who work or volunteer with us.
It is reassuring to see that we are making good progress and in a number of areas Wiltshire Police is significantly outperforming the national average, in particular with regards to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout our response to the current pandemic we have committed to ensuring that our officers on the frontline have the information, training and equipment needed to respond to the challenges in front of them, keeping themselves and the public safe. It has been pleasing to see this play out in some of the feedback received but there is always more we can do and we are determined not to rest on our laurels.
Despite what has been a challenging year for everyone, within the Force it has ignited a strong sense of togetherness and working towards the common purpose of protecting our communities. Despite the enormity of these challenges it has been incredible to see the positive change in morale this year.
However, of particular concern is the impact on morale of how it is felt by officers the police service as a whole is treated. We continue to see horrific instances where our officers and staff are assaulted and abused simply for going about their duties. This is completely unacceptable and something that we have been striving to tackle through a package of measures including enhanced training and protective equipment, wellbeing and support for those affected and personalised impact statements for the courts to help ensure that the strongest possible sentences are given to those who assault our officers and staff.
We are committed to continuing to work closely with and listen to the views of all those who work and volunteer with us and we will also continue to nurture our valuable relationships with our staff associations, such as the Police Federation, to keep making improvements so that we attract, retain and develop the very best people we can in to a career in policing. We continue to make strong progress in attracting new police officers to the Force as part of the national Uplift programme to recruit an additional 20,000 officers over a three-year period.
Finally, we'd like to take the opportunity to thank all those who took time to give their feedback as part of the national survey - without it we cannot build on our successes and improve in areas that need greater focus and support.