Rise in percentage of police turning to second jobs, report finds

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Nearly one in 12 rank-and-file police officers has taken a second job to boost their income, new research suggests.

A poll of more than 27,000 personnel by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) found 7.8% of respondents had additional work – up from 6.3% last year.

Police can take on additional employment outside their working hours with approval from their force.

It has previously been reported that officers have worked in a variety of roles including taxi driving, photography, plumbing, gardening and beauty therapy.

The latest findings by the Police Federation, which represents officers from constable up to chief inspector rank, are based on responses from 27,303 members to its pay and morale survey in April and May.

It found that nearly half (44.8%) of those polled said they worry about the state of their personal finances either every day or almost every day.

More than one in nine (11.8%) said that they either never or almost never had enough money to cover all of their essentials, while 3.8% had taken out a payday loan at least once in the last year.

John Apter, chair of the PFEW, said the results “make grim reading”.

He said: “Our members are clearly suffering from even worse financial pressures than last year, with some appearing to be in dire straits.

“Our members are under immense pressure to deliver, with dwindling resources and rising crime, particularly violent crime, leading to a demand for our services that has never been higher.

“All they want is to be adequately paid for the job that they do.

“We know officers are struggling and some have had to resort to food vouchers and other welfare schemes.

“This clearly cannot be right or acceptable that those employed to keep the public safe cannot make ends meet or put food on tables for their families.”

Last month, the Government announced police officers will be awarded a pay rise of 2% in 2018 to 2019 – but the PFEW labelled the increase “derisory”.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott accused the Conservatives of being “in total denial about the misery that their cuts to public services have caused”.

She added: “Police officers are already being asked to do more with less, resulting in overwork and stress.”

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We are grateful to all police officers for the incredible job they do – and will continue to ensure they have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively.

“The police pay award for 2018/19 represents the highest consolidated pay award since 2010. And the number of people joining police forces is at a 10-year high which demonstrates policing is still a desirable and sought-after career.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for pay and conditions Francis Habgood said: ”In the past few years, we have seen increasing demand on policing with rising overall recorded crime levels, more complex crimes being committed, a growing terrorist threat and, more than ever, the police being called as a last resort when other agencies lack their own capacity.

“We know that hard working police officers are feeling the strain. Limited pay increases in recent years mean that some officers struggle to keep their heads above water financially.

”Police forces actively encourage officers to seek support if they run into financial difficulties and these arrangements are being strengthened.”

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