Police pull no punches in workplace survey

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The latest workplace survey completed by New Zealand Police is painting a less-than-appealing picture of the force, with many officers claiming they’re incredibly stressed and inadequately trained.

In the annual survey, 59.8 per cent of officers said they don't receive sufficient training and 55.6 per cent said the level of work-related stress was unacceptable – the major gripes are just two of a number pointed out by clearly disgruntled employees.

In addition, just 39 per cent said the organisation was interested in the opinions of its staff, 68.8 per cent said appointments weren't made on merit and just 42.3 per cent agreed police delivered on the promises they made to the community – a drop of 9.2 percentage points from last year.

One police officer, who wished to remain anonymous, told the New Zealand Herald that staff shortages and a static budget were to blame.

"Our job quality isn't as good as it could be just because we're under so much pressure, and then at the same time we still have to pull people over and give them tickets, do bail checks and patrolling, and then there's a whole heap of overtime as well,” he said.

The disillusioned officer also told the news outlet that a recent change in rosters has led to an increase in overtime and a 30 per cent jump in staff taking sick days.

"People just don't want to come to work because they're so sick of overtime,” he said. “There hasn't been a budget increase in five years, and we're expected to keep crime rates down, burglaries down when there's way more people, way more crime and we're getting less and less cops. That's where the stress comes from for us."

Kaye Ryan, the police’s acting deputy chief executive for people, said a new training model was launched in April which will help address staff concerns.

"Police stress levels are a concern,” she admitted. “Our staff are put in a range of situations every day that can be extremely difficult to deal with, and most members of the public will not be aware of the extent of the situations staff are exposed to.

"With this comes an inevitable level of stress, and we encourage staff to come forward and speak openly about how they are coping.

"Our extensive Wellness and Safety network is in place to ensure employees who seek help are offered full support through our Employee Assistance Programme."

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  • shannontorr@gmail.com on 2/09/2016 2:00:39 p.m.

    Thought you might be interested in this

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