One in 10 ‘plan to quit police’

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More than half of Lancashire’s police officers say they are overworked, according to a new study.

Savage cuts to police budgets were today blamed for increasing workloads that have left one in 10 officers planning to quit the force.

The Lancashire Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said Government austerity measures have put too much pressure on the front line.

The national Police Federation carried out a survey, seen by The Gazette, of officers across all forces.

Chairman Rachel Baines said budget cuts, which have seen staffing levels slashed, have had a worrying impact on the remaining officers.

She added: “We have lost more than 800 officers in the last few years and another 700 are predicted to go. Those left on the front line are having to work even harder.”

Lancashire Police now has fewer than 3,000 officers for the first time since records began, as bosses have had to make savings of £60m in the last five years – with a further £20m needed by 2017.

The study found the situation in Lancashire was better than in most forces – but four in five officers still described force morale as “low”.

Two thirds also said their own workload has increased in the last year, compared to 72 per cent nationally.

In Lancashire, 12 per cent of officers surveyed said they plan to leave the force in the next two years – compared to 15 per cent across all forces. Officers were not asked why they intend to quit and figures will include those approaching retirement age.

Ms Baines said: “The indication to us is they are putting too much pressure on our officers that are left.”

The national report concluded that officers feel like they are “doing more but receiving less”.

Lancashire Police did not wish to comment.