Candidates for police commissioner say figures showing West Mercia Police has the second worst level of morale in the country should be a wake-up call for the government.

The annual Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) Pay and Morale Survey revealed that 95 per cent of West Mercia's officers said their personal morale was low.

The force also reported the second-highest figure in terms of not recommending others to join the police (82 per cent, compared to 73 per cent nationally).

The survey also found the vast majority of those surveyed did not feel respected by the government and many had experienced feelings of stress, low mood or had difficulties with their health and well being. 

Of all the forces nationwide, only the Metropolitan Police rated worse. 

Sarah Murray, the Liberal Democrat candidate to be the next Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia, was appalled at the findings, which she believes stem from years of neglect.

“These figures should serve as a wake-up call for the Conservative Government," she said.

“It's hard to be shocked by low officer morale when years of ineffective resourcing from the Conservatives have left our force overstretched, under-resourced and unable to focus on the crimes that matter most to people.

“I have worked in the field of mental health for many years and I understand the impact it can have on a workforce if it’s not dealt with appropriately.

“The Liberal Democrats will keep pushing to restore proper community policing.”

Labour candidate Richard Overton said: "It is quite shocking. The police service is a highly valued service to residents but the survey not only shows the low value placed on it by the Conservative government in how they fund public services in general, but I think it actually shows the poor value placed on police officers through pay and conditions in such a tough job.

"I would also add that leadership has to take some of the blame when it comes to working conditions  and the roles that some officers have had to undertake to cover for staff shortages. 

"It is time for a change at the top and that’s why it vital that residents vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections on May 2."

Conservative candidate John Campion said: "This is disappointing to read. Policing in West Mercia is delivered by hard working police officers and staff that keep our community safe.

"As PCC I am ultimately accountable for the totality of policing, and I know the chief constable, who is responsible for leading the force, and his team are focused on addressing the issues highlighted in this survey.

"There is limited progress, but it is clear it needs to be faster and sustained - I will continue to play my part in making it that happen."