HUNDREDS of Wiltshire Police officers are unhappy with their pay and suffer low morale, according to a new survey.

Out of the 336 responses to the Police Federation of England and Wales Pay and Morale Survey from the county’s force, 73 per cent expressed dissatisfaction.

Around 68 per cent felt they were worse off financially than five years ago and 12 per cent said they never had enough money to pay for essentials.

Wiltshire Police Federation chairman Mark Andrews said: “I am incredibly concerned about the results which show a significant decrease in the morale of the force.

“Over three quarters of those who responded said they felt morale within the force is low or very low, a 16 per cent increase since last year, with almost half of those responding stating their personal morale was low or very low.

“This is not the positive workforce the PCC and Chief Constable are committed to creating and I would ask them to look again at how they and their management teams are supporting our officers.”

Other results included 56 per cent of respondents saying they would not recommend joining the police to others -and nine per cent said they had an intention to leave the police service within the next two years or ASAP.

Mr Andrews added: “Wiltshire Police are in the process of trying to attract people into the service which is a career I still believe to be one of the best and most varied you can have. “

“I do however have concerns the continual pressure on our officers has resulted in 56 per cent of them stating they would not recommend policing to others.

“I suspect the underlying reason for this is that nearly 50 per cent feel undervalued."

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “The results are obviously of concern.

"Wiltshire significantly outperforms the national average in personal levels of morale, willingness to recommend working within the police service and feeling valued, but clearly we still have more to do.

"I am committed to listening to our officers and staff and working with them to improve wherever we can.

“The wellbeing of everyone at Wiltshire Police is of paramount importance and I know just how crucial it is that those protecting our communities are both happy and healthy.

"I have invested heavily in our Occupational Health Unit, as well as improving kit and uniform."