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Gibraltar Police Federation Publish Survey Results 2023

The Gibraltar Police Federation have published the results of their 2023 survey.

A statement from the Gibraltar Police Federation follows below:

In August 2018, the Gibraltar Police Federation carried out its first online survey to give members a  voice on what issues affected them. The results were subsequently shared with the media for  everyone to see. Several issues were highlighted.  

The Gibraltar Federation Board agreed then that they would carry out an annual survey for a period  of three years to assess whether there had been any improvements in the issues raised by members.  These surveys have extended beyond the initial 3 years period, and we recently asked our members  to complete our fifth online Staff Survey, which has been conducted from the 17th of November to the  22nd of December 2023. 

As always, this survey covers many aspects of members working conditions as well as certain aspects  of welfare issues and procedures in the RGP, although we have tried to streamline in somewhat as it  was in danger of becoming too bloated. 

This survey has been conducted completely confidentially by an independent marketing agency.  

The completion rate of 55% was much lower than the previous year, which stood at 77%. We feel  that this poor response has been driven by apathy towards any positive actions in dealing with any 

points raised, underlined by the fact that only 7% of respondents having confidence in the command  team dealing with the issues raised in this survey. However, we believe the survey has again  highlighted the issues that officers feel need to be addressed.  

The results below are a summary of the survey results, which was completed by 126 out of our 230 members (last surveys results in brackets). 

Job satisfaction is similar to the previous survey, showing 24% (23%)satisfied or very satisfied while 46% (50%) dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied. Only 8% (12%) of the respondents expressed  high morale, whilst 66% (58%) responded low or very low. As a result, only 50% view the Royal  Gibraltar Police as a long-term career. 

64% (54%) of the workforce have stated that they have contemplated in leaving the RGP in the last  twelve months, with the main driving factors for this being: 

Low morale 86% (79%) 

Poor organisational management 83% (79%) 

High stress 70% (75%) 

Poor work/life balance 48% (56%) 

It should be noted that almost 35% of officers responded salary potential in another job to be a  driving factor in seeking alternative employment. Previous surveys have seen this number consistently  rise from 2% to 4% to 14% in the previous 3 surveys. 

24% see themselves working for the RGP for no more than 5 years, 26% for between 5-10 years and  50% for over 10 years. 

39% (44%) of the officers have reported that they have been a victim of bullying/victimisation at  work with 36% (30%) willing to report the incident(s). 

51% (41%) of these officers’ state that they have been bullied within the last year 

47% (56%) have stated that they have witnessed bullying/victimisation at work with just 16%  (13%) having confidence to report the matter.  

Only 10% (15%) of officers are confident of reporting matters through the grievance procedure  process.  

Only 25% (34%) of respondents feel that officers are treated fairly in relation to internal/external  disciplinary matters.

55% (63%) think the RGP should operate a different Response Team pattern (when asked the 12- hour shift 4 on 4 off system received the most support), although 51% of shift officers are either  satisfied or very satisfied with the current pattern.  

23% (44%) of the members are satisfied or very satisfied with their current salary, but zero respondents (9%) stated they were satisfied with their allowances. Over 97% of officers are  dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their salary/allowances compared to other uniformed bodies 

86% of officers polled stated that their department was not at full complement, with 64% stating  their department has been undermanned for over a year. These low manning levels have created a  feeling of a more dangerous working environment as only 9% (11%) of officers reported that they  feel safe whilst carrying out operational duties. The extra pressures of working under such conditions  has caused several personal issues such as: Exhaustion 78%, burnout 74%, lack of  concentration/motivation 73%, stress 71%, amongst many other issues. 

58% (55%) of respondents state currently suffering from work related stress. When asked the best  ways to combat these personal stresses the main responses were more resources 90% and  simplifying procedures 73% 

8% (11%) were satisfied with the level welfare and aftercare provided to officers by the organisation  after an incident. 

74% (68%) of the members have reported that they have had instances of their rest days changed  with 71% (46%) claiming they had not been given the required 15 days’ notice.  

24% of officers have reported that they are satisfied with their refreshment breaks with 65% claiming that the refreshment breaks were interrupted or cancelled often or very often and only 6% satisfied with the refreshment facilities.  

Less than 7% (16%) of officers were satisfied with the level of forward planning in relation to police  functions 

41% (42%) were satisfied or very satisfied with their personal safety equipment. Only 3% (3%) officers are satisfied with the IT infrastructure. 

In general, the results of the survey are very similar to those of other years. Year in year out, the issues  highlighted by our members remain the same and most continue to be unaddressed by management. An RGP anti Bullying advisory committee, which includes Dignity at Work personnel, Federation  Convenors and RGP officers has been established and has regular meetings to update policies and  procedures. This has resulted in a continuing positive trend, although slowly, of incidents of bullying 

appearing to drop, while the willingness to report said incidents has seen an increase. 

However, there is has massive issue with morale throughout the service being now at an all-time low.  Only 7% of our members’ express high or very high morale. This equates to just 9 officers. Bullying  aside, the fact that all other issues are showing either stagnation or decline is a matter of grave  concern  

Recent surveys we have shown an increase of officers suffering from work related mental health or wellbeing issues. Although TRIM and mental health referrals are a positive move, we feel that the lack  of a full-time and permanent welfare officer is a detriment to officers suffering from these issues. Rectifying this would put the emphasis on prevention rather than cure. Failure to recognise that our  procedures are tedious, over complicated, non-user friendly, and in most cases duplicitous is doing  nothing to convince officers that SMT wish to ease the burden on their mental health. This is an issue  which transcends all ranks, and which must be taken seriously.  

Civilianization of various posts is a subject which has been kicking around for several years with  seemingly no end in sight. We understand that this matter is currently being dealt with, but it needs  to be finalised as a matter of urgency. 

Over the past few years, the organisation has seen the creation of numerous departments, many of  them as a result of HMIC recommendations. While this may have sometimes been necessary, to have  done so without securing extra manpower has created a serious strain on all departments, especially to frontline core policing with nearly 90% of officers stating their department was understaffed. This  has led to an increase in officers having their rest days changed. 

These issues have caused the blue line to be stretched paper thin and it is the only the good will and  work ethic of the ranks that is stopping it from snapping altogether. This pressure on them must be  released before it reaches the point of no return. As stated in previous surveys the most valuable asset of any organisation are its officers and staff. Employee satisfaction stems primarily from working for  an organization that values those employees.  

Only 9% were satisfied with the progress made with the issues raised in last years survey and only 7% believe that issues raised in this years survey will be dealt with. This is a sad reflection of the fact that  the officers feel that are not being heard or taken seriously by not only their management, but also  their government. This has a knock-on effect on all areas of policing, none more so than recruitment  and retention.

Again, the Gibraltar Police Federation wants our members’ views to be taken seriously, in the same  way that HMIC recommendations are actioned. 

The Gibraltar Police Federation will always look after the welfare of its members. We continue to be willing to work alongside Command in order to improve any aspect that could better working  conditions of our members.