‘PRRB must be truly independent’

The secretary of Dyfed Powys Police Federation says it’s “unacceptable” that officers are relying on food banks as the cost of living crisis spirals.

Roger Webb said the impact of a decade of pay cuts and freezes – coupled with rising fuel, energy and food prices – means that some officers were making “difficult and painful” decisions.

Now he’s called for the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) – the mechanism that sets officers’ salaries – to be truly independent of Government so that it can set “free and fair awards”.

Roger said: “MPs had no problem earlier this year accepting the recommendations of their pay review body, but it stuck in the craw after we’d been subjected to yet another pay freeze.

“We’re now seeing the cost of living spiral. Energy bills are out of control and food prices are soaring, and this is on top of a real term pay cut for officers of 20 per cent in the last decade.

“It’s resulted in officers having to use food banks, which really is unacceptable, and we’re seeing them having to make difficult and painful decisions about how they spend their money.

“This is not how we should be rewarding officers, who sacrificed so much during the pandemic and that is why we’re calling for the PRRB to be truly independent as, at the moment, the Government decides what it can consider and, ultimately, what officers will receive.

“It’s wrong and needs to change.”

His comments were echoed by the chair of the Police Federation for England and Wales (PFEW), Steve Hartshorn, who has called for “a reset of relations with the Government”.

The PFEW last year withdrew its support and engagement with the PRRB, labelling the mechanism as “not fit for purpose”.

Steve said: “The independence of the PRRB must be upheld and not influenced by the Government by way of a remit to enable officers to have a fair pay mechanism, and the P-factor payment exclusive to policing must be included to ensure officers are paid fairly for the risks they take.

“We seek assurances from the Government that next year the PRRB will not be restrained by an unfair remit set by the Home Office, and that the unsustainable real-terms pay cut is addressed to ensure our members can afford to do the job they signed up for.

“We asked for a reset of relations with the Government, which is needed to ensure that the voice of our members is heard loud and clear at all levels of the Government every time decisions are made affecting their day-to-day lives.”