Cleveland Police detectives in crisis
Police leaders and government must do more to tackle a seemingly unstoppable crisis in detective policing as morale hits rock bottom with workload, fatigue and stress on the rise.
Nationally, over half (56 per cent) of the 7,803 respondents, the largest number of respondents since the survey began, said that service cuts have had a huge impact on their morale whilst over a quarter of detectives felt their physical and mental health had been affected. Half of respondents also said cuts had led to a substantial increase in fatigue (53 per cent) and stress (49 per cent) as they battled to keep up with demand.
A staggering nine out of ten of respondents who had taken sickness absence due to their mental health and wellbeing said that the difficulties they experienced were caused, or exacerbated, by work.
Andrea Breeze, Chair of Cleveland Police Federation, said: "In Cleveland 63% of respondents said cuts have had a major impact on their morale and this is further demonstrated by the fact they say that they feel their workload has much higher than the National Average"
The single aim of every officer, detectives included, is to protect and help others. But what these results show is that despite their best efforts, the demands of the role do not allow them to do this. This is further emphasised with over half of the respondents saying they did not even have time to stay up to date with the latest training.
Work life balance was also an issue with four out of five respondents saying their work as a detective had kept them away from their family and friends. Nationally, over two thirds (71 per cent) admitted to experiencing difficulties in booking time off or taking annual leave.
Andrea Breeze also said it is a great concern that 71% detectives in Cleveland have said their workload is too high or much too high They want to deliver an excellent service to every victim of crime however how can they realistically do this with such an high workload.
These results evidence serious shortcomings that need to be addressed. Chief officers, the College of Policing and Government need to sit up and listen. They have already been told by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) when they stated that there was a 'crisis in detectives' and now people doing the job are telling them in their thousands. If we continue to fail the men and women who work in these roles then we ultimately fail the victims we aim to protect.