HUNDREDS of Dorset Police officers say they’re not being paid properly, according to a new report.

Some 86 per cent of the officers who responded to the Police Federation of England and Wales Pay and Morale survey are dissatisfied with their pay – and 46 per cent said they have low morale.

Of those who had their say, 73 per cent of respondents from Dorset Police felt that they were worse off financially than they were five years ago and 13 per cent reported never or almost never having enough money to cover all their essentials.

More than three quarters – 86 per cent – of those who responded said they felt morale within the force is low or very low., an increase of 1 per cent on 2018. 46 per cent said their own morale is low, a decrease of 7 per cent from 2018.

Dorset Police Federation secretary Ian Roe said: “The fact that 86 per cent of Dorset Police officers do not feel that they are fairly paid for the stresses and strains of their job demonstrates how police pay has fallen behind due to 10 years of pay freezes and pay rises below the rate of inflation.

“Our officers should be paid and remunerated fairly for the rigours of their job and although this year officers received a 2.5 per cent pay rise, this still leaves officers well below where their pay should be. It worries me that 13 per cent of our officers reported never or almost never having enough money to cover essentials.

“Many officers are now reliant on overtime to keep their finances in order, this leaves them and their families vulnerable should they be injured or are off sick for a period of time and then miss overtime opportunities. Reliance on overtime also means our officers can become fatigued due to the need to work on their rest days.”

In total, 362 responses were received from Dorset Police, representing a response rate of around 29 per cent. Other results included that 64 per cent of respondents said that they would not recommend joining the police to others, while eight per cent said they had an intention to leave the police service either within the next two years or as soon as possible.

A spokesperson from Dorset Police said: “Pay has fallen behind cost of living rises in recent years. Police pay is set nationally and the findings of this survey provide evidence that our officers feel they should be appropriately paid for the difficult job they do.

“Despite this our officers continue to display great professionalism and commitment to keeping our communities safe.” Dorset is one of the safest places in the UK, testament to the hard work of our officers and staff.”