Months have passed since politicians and chiefs were told to act on a problem that could undermine policing â€“ yet nothing has been done, says Royston Martis.
The silence has been deafening.Â
Seven months ago, Policing Minister Damian Green and the countryâ€™s chief constables were told to publish a list of actions they were going to take to improve plummeting morale among the countryâ€™s cops.
The demand â€“ issued by our old friends on the Home Affairs Select Committee in a report on Leadership and standards in the police â€“ was in response to the news that morale among British Bobbies had â€œsunk to its lowest ebb in recent memoryâ€.
Here is the key quote from the report. And itâ€™s even printed in bold so people donâ€™t miss it.
â€œThe Chief Constablesâ€™ Council and the Minister for Policing should publish a list of actions they intend to take to address the issue of police morale during the course of this year.â€
And yet even though this call was made at the beginning of July 2013 and relevant parties were told to produce this list by the end of the year, we sit here in the first week of February 2014 with no proposals.
A call to the Home Office this week discovered that Mr Green and his mandarins have no intention of putting such a list together. It is nice to know they care isnâ€™t it.
ACPO has equally not come up with a collective â€œmorale action planâ€- saying itâ€™s down to individual chiefs.
Am afraid heads are being buried in the sand over this.
Seven months ago, the Home Affairs Select Committee said it was â€œdeeply concernedâ€ by the decline in police officer morale and particularly by statistics â€“ from the Lord Stevens review of policing â€“ that showed 95 per cent of the service do not feel they have the support of the government.
â€œWe have a national crisis of morale which threatens to undermine the work our officers are doing,â€ said Lord Stevens.
â€œIf weâ€™re asking men and women to put their lives on the line to protect us, then I think they should know theyâ€™ve got the full support of the Government. These results show that they do not perceive this to be the case.â€
There is low morale in policing. It is for many obvious reasons.
These include drastic changes to pay, conditions and pensions. Relatively few police promotions and therefore limited chances for career development. And officers constantly being attacked by politicians and some parts of the media over their ethics and integrity â€“ because of the sins of the very few.
This week the Police Federation launched a survey on officer pay, conditions and morale. On morale, officers are asked a series of questions about whether recent changes to their pay and conditions of service â€“ such as the removal of Competency Related Threshold Payments and Special Priority Payments, direct entry to senior ranks, annual fitness testing and the police officer pension/retirement age increasing â€“ has reduced or improved it.
From the many officers I have spoken to in the last few days, expect a landslide result of shockingly low morale.
The problem â€“ and it is a problem that needs fixing fast â€“ is not going away any time soon.
As the MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee state: â€œMorale in the ranks can have a real impact on public safety.â€
Chief constables, politicians and civil servants are paid hefty sums of public money to show leadership. They were asked seven months ago to publish a list of actions to help improve police morale. They have not done this.
Shame on them â€“ this is not acceptable.
They had a real opportunity to make a difference.
By ignoring the problem they have put yet another huge dent into the morale and motivation of hard working police officers in England and Wales.
Morale and a deafening silence