ESSEX Police officers “almost never” have enough money to meet essential needs while the majority "feel financially worse off" than they were five years ago, a report says.

The 2023 Police Federation of England and Wales Pay and Morale report has revealed officers across the county would not advise others to join the force due to financial pressures.

According to the report, 84 per cent of the officers in the force feel “financially worse off” while 22 per cent of them “never” or “almost never” have enough money to meet their essential needs.

Last year Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington warned that experienced officers are leaving the force because of a failure by the Government to increase police pay.

Laura Heggie, chair of Essex Police Federation, said: “Some of the results from the survey cause serious concern.

“More than 50 per cent of Essex Police officers class their morale as low or very low.

“It’s worrying that even though a lot of effort has gone into removing the stigma around mental health this survey highlights officers still feel they have to take leave rather than reporting sick and making others aware they are struggling with their mental health.

“We all know that a happy workforce is a productive one, one that will go that extra mile but if they are being knocked down that’s not going to happen.

“We have a young workforce, in both age and experience, we need to be looking at every way we can to encourage officers to join Essex Police as a career, to retain and build on that experience.

“Officers feel that they are expected to commit and give so much but this has become very one way.”

The report also highlights pay dissatisfaction, with 78 per cent of officer respondents expressing discontent over their pay scale.

Tellingly, 70 per cent of Essex police survey respondents stated they wouldn’t recommend joining the police to others.

Additionally, 15 per cent of Essex Police officers stated they are planning to resign from the service either “within the next two years” or “as soon as they can”.

Nearly 60 per cent reported cancelled rest days within the past year, while 16 per cent sustained one or multiple work-related injuries requiring medical attention.

This report is based on responses received from 1,121 Essex Police officers.