POLICE officers have enough to deal with without having to worry about money too, it has been said.

The statement, from the North Wales Police federation, comes after new research conducted by the Police Federation of England and Wales which reveals more police officers than ever before are seriously concerned about their finances.

In North Wales 40 per cent said they worry about money either every day or almost every day. This is compared to 51 per cent nationally.

According to the data 71 per cent said they felt that they were worse off financially than they were five years ago.

This is compared with the national figure of a 74 per cent.

And 11 per cent reported never or almost never having enough money to cover all their essentials.

Additionally, the vast majority of North Wales Police respondents - 86 per cent - did not feel fairly paid considering the stresses and strains of their job.

Low force morale has maintained a figure in the region of 80 per cent for the last five years. Responses for the negative effects of day-to-day job role and workload / responsibilities have increased over the last four years as well (Day-to-day job role from 33.3 per cent in 2016 to 41 per cent in 2019 and workload and responsibilities from 43.1 per cent in 2016 to 60 per cent in 2019).

These figures underpin the messages from officers and the Police Federation that the service is “at breaking point”and that “cuts have consequences”.

The findings provide vital evidence to inform the Police Federation of England and Wales work on pay and conditions.

The survey findings will be used in the North Wales Police Federation’s submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB - an independent group which advises the government on police pay) to help inform the pay award in 2020.

Locally, the findings will be used in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Officers and other interested parties to inform and reinvigorate some of the work around Health and Wellbeing as well as a number of the operational reviews that are currently ongoing.

Mark Jones, general secretary of the North Wales Police Federation, said: “This research must shock whoever forms the next government in to action.

“Every day police officers go to work to protect and serve the public to the best of their ability putting themselves in harm’s way and in some tragic cases making the ultimate sacrifice.

“They deal with enough stress and trauma at work and it is scandalous they are being put in the position where they are having to deal with additional anxiety caused by money worries when they get home.

“Our members must be paid fairly for the job they do and should not be put in the unforgivable position of having to borrow from friends or family just to make ends meet.”

Mr Jones added: “We have heard, and continue to hear, a lot of promises around policing and police officer wellbeing.

“Wellbeing means may things, one of the easier ways to help boost wellbeing is by boosting the pay in officers’ pockets.

“Since 2010 police officers have seen an 18 per cent real-term pay cut from their pay, this is a national disgrace.

“These figures give a real sense of the struggles and frustrations facing my members, but despite feeling undervalued and underpaid most are still proud to be police officers.

“This is typical of those who do this extraordinary job, and something appreciated by the public.

“It now needs to be appreciated by those will control the Government purse strings.

“What is also of concern is the continued low force morale respondents have expressed.

“This is indicative of the never-ending increase in demands on the police from other public sector services where police are the first and last resort, picking up the slack where others have had their budgets and services cut.

“We sadly see, far too often, police officers who are at breaking point and, even more worrying, who are broken. We cannot go on like this. It has to change and improve and that has to be now.”

North Wales Police Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “I am extremely proud of the way our officers are committed to keeping the public safe.

“They do a difficult and demanding job and the National Federation Survey is a valuable source in helping us to gauge their concerns and feelings.

“It is only right that officers should be paid at the appropriate level for the challenging work they do and North Wales Police has made the decision to pitch starting pay for any role at the highest level we can.

“The health and wellbeing of our workforce is a priority in this force and we have a programme of work in place to help ensure that officers and staff are supported properly and feel valued.

“We will continue to work with our colleagues in the federation so that we are the best employer that we can be.

“Our aim is to provide an excellent service to the community of North Wales and the wellbeing of all our staff is essential in helping to achieve this.”

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said: “Police officers do a difficult and increasingly dangerous job and it is only right that they should be properly remunerated for it.

“Our communities have suffered from the effects of years of cuts to the policing budget by the Government and although I have worked with successive Chief Constables to mitigate the effects of these cuts it is only to be expected that they should also have an effect on the morale of our officers.

“This is true both in terms of their pay and also of the conditions in which they work and their workload so I have sympathy with the Federation’s stance on this and trust that whatever the result of the General Election that this is given a high priority by the new Government.”