22 June 2003
Scottish police staff feel undervalued and stressed
Police staff across Scotland feel undervalued and stressed says
the first national survey of police staff released by UNISON recently.
UNISON, who represents more than 4,000 police staff in Scotland,
wants the Scottish Executive, the Association of Chief Police Officers
in Scotland (ACPOS) and police employers to improve the status,
training, management and terms and conditions of the police staff
who make up a third of the police workforce.
In Scotland especially, police staff are lower paid than in the
UK as a whole, and are more likely to have suffered verbal abuse
themselves or to have seen a colleague suffer it. They have less
access to training opportunities, and are likely not to have access
to flexible working arrangements.
Joe Di Paola Scottish Organiser for Police Staff said "The most
worrying statistic is that half of our members do not feel valued
by their force. The other is the level of abuse that they have to
suffer. 'We need a new initiative to cut out this abuse. It should
not be part of people's working lives."
Raymond Brown, Secretary of UNISON's Strathclyde Police and Fire
Branch, backs up the survey results. "I know members who have left
the force for the very reasons found in the survey. It is important
that this work has been done but we now need to make our employers
aware of the results and address the problems."
UNISON is supportive of government aims to increase police presence
on Scotland's streets and to switch background tasks to support
staff. But Joe Di Paola says the increased responsibilities need
increased resources. "Police staff are open to change and increased
responsibilities, and the employers need to ensure that they get
the training, support, professional status and salary to enable
them to tackle these increased duties. Increased civilianisation
needs proper resources if it is to succeed.
"These resources must be delivered up front, not on account. Police
staff in Scotland want greater flexibility, professional development
and training, higher grades and proper support."
The UK-wide survey - by independent pollsters NOP - found: 50%
of staff do not feel valued by their police service Female police
staff lose out unfairly in pay and training opportunities (although
in Scotland all police staff have less access to training than elsewhere
in the UK.)
76% of members say workloads have increased 66% say stress levels
have grown In Scotland More staff are likely to be low paid (21%
earn between £150 & £200 per week cf. 15% UK-wide)
Staff were also more likely to suffer verbal abuse or to have seen
a colleague suffer it (46% cf. 41%).
Police staff have a wide variety of roles including: - Admin &
Clerical, enquiries, control rooms and station posts, forensic and
scientific units, scenes of crime staff, crime and incident management,
fingerprinting, training, vehicle workshops and traffic wardens
and parking attendants.
Note for Editors: Equal before the Law, attitudes and aspirations
of UNISON's police staff members, is a UK-wide survey commissioned
by UNISON from NOP, the respected national research and polling
organisation. 3,000 members (nearly 50%) responded. Copies of sections
of the report are available from Chris Bartter. The full report
is available from the Communications Unit, UNISON, I Mabledon Place,
London WC1H 9AJ. Tel 0845 355 0845.
For Further Information Please Contact: Joe Di Paola (Scottish
Organiser - Local Govt) - 0845 355 0845(o) 07990 505 698(m) Chris
Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)
Raymond Brown (S'clyde Pol/Fire Br Sec) 07050 200504 (m)