The Government’s decision to bolster police officer pay packets by £1,900 from 1 September “does not go far enough,” according to the Police Federation.
National Federation chair Steve Hartshorn admitted the pay award, hailed by Government as being equivalent to five per cent for many officers, would be “lauded as a success” at any other time.
He explained: “Many outside policing will say that in comparison to other pay awards, this is a good number and that we should be content. But that doesn’t take account of the huge real terms pay cuts officers have faced or that we cannot strike.
“The reality is that most officers will be worse off financially than last year even with this extra money. Even for those officers at the top end of the pay award, it will still not be enough to cover the increases in household bills, fuel and groceries.”
And Steve warned that the figure for the real terms pay cut could reach a staggering 28.7 per cent by October this year for PCs at the bottom of their pay scale.
He continued: “I am pleased that the starting pay for new joiners on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship route has increased, and this is reassuring for those new joiners, but for everyone else from PC to chief inspector, I’m afraid this settlement falls far short of what they need.
“Higher rank, experienced officers who are also dealing with the soaring inflation figures, have seen an increase wildly out of touch with the cost of living crisis which feels like another insult from the Government.
“Across England and Wales, the feeling is that this award is divisive and devalues those officers longer in service. The divide promotes a lack of incentive for promotion and, while it is right that new recruits should be paid more than they currently are, this should not be to the detriment of other officers which is what the award has achieved.”
According to the Home Office, the uplift will be worth up to 8.8 per cent for officers on the lowest pay points, and between 0.6 and 1.8 per cent for those at the upper end. The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) minimum starting salary will also be raised to £23,556 from 1 September.
Commenting on the pay award, Home Secretary Priti Patel, said: “I am pleased to be able to accept the pay review body recommendations in full so that all police officers see a £1,900 salary uplift. It is right that we recognise the extraordinary work of our officers who day in, day out, work tirelessly to keep our streets, communities and country safe.”
The Federation withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body last July after the zero per cent pay award and has been campaigning for its replacement with a fully independent body.
“Ultimately, we want all officers to be treated fairly, to receive a proportionate pay increase and this will be our aim moving forward. We will not stop until police officers receive what they are due. Policing in our country is in huge crisis and the Government must step up,” says the national chair.