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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Chairman's Blog: Police officer pay

23 March 2023

Colleagues and Friends,

The Police Federation of England and Wales recently commissioned a report that has identified Police pay as an outlier in public sector and protective service worker’s pay. I know it will not come as a shock to any of you when I say that the way this government treats our Police service is nothing short of a disgrace, it is contemptible.

Year on year our pay review body are influenced by the home secretary. Despite any evidence provided or their own assessment and summary, regardless of their recommendations they are directed on what pay award to give. The Home Office influences the remit of the review parameters and have dominion with no recourse over accepting or rejecting the findings, it lacks any independence or discretion, it is a farce.

Last year the Branch Boards Chairs and Secretaries collectively made the decision to withdraw from the Police pay remuneration review body (PRRB). This action was not taken lightly, but was taken as a response to the public sector pay freeze at the time and the lack of independence the PRRB process is afforded by the Government.

This year the fall in Police pay is by 17 per cent in real terms between 2000 and 2022. This is in stark contrast to the between 1 and 14 per cent pay rise received by similar professions over the same time period.

To add context, in the same period, MPs’ pay increased by approximately 74 per cent from £48,371 to £84,144.

The difference? Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), this is their equivalent to our PRRB.

The difference? Funnily enough their findings are binding.

So, what do we do? We cannot strike, we are not afforded industrial rights. We cannot disenfranchise a police service, we cannot tell you to work to rule or to regulations in every situation. So what do we do?

Last week I wrote to every MP in Avon and Somerset, including our Police and Crime Commissioner. As our elected officials they have a responsibility to their constituencies, they have a responsibility to you and your families. I have sent them a copy of the SMF report and asked for their support and voice. To their shame, to date I have only had 3 responses to 16 letters sent.

I now turn to you and ask that you write to your MP and ask them. To help I have listed all of them including their Parliament pages and email addresses here. On this page there is a template of a letter I would ask you to send. Just please add their name to the top and your signature to the bottom.

If we do not put a stop to this systematic abuse, not only is Government going to continually fail to understand that their policies on Policing are putting members of the public at risk; the public that Police Officers are there to protect. But this government will continue to fail to recognise your sacrifice and fail to understand the gravity of the situation through dishonouring previous agreements and through failure to reward and recognise the selfless acts of courage of over 130,000 Police Officers.