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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Chairman's Blog: We want our Government to take practical action that allows Police Officers to pay their bills, feed their families and get to work

27 June 2022

“We want our Government to take practical action that allows Police Officers to pay their bills, feed their families and get to work.”

Mark Loker, Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, blogs on Police Officer pay.

“One of Margaret Thatcher's first initiatives on becoming elected Prime Minister was to instigate the Edmund Davies regime on Police pay. This followed severe problems with the recruitment and retention of Police Officers in England and Wales because of chronically low pay, which had by then fallen far behind the pay for comparable occupations.

“Does that sound familiar?

“Edmund Davies provided, for over thirty years, a pay review body for the Police that was consistent - we were recognised and remunerated accordingly.

“One of our current Government’s first initiatives was to decimate Police pay. Our pensions shredded, a pay freeze and we were expected to suck it up and carry on. But in despite of the utter contempt shown for Police Officers by Government, commendably we did.

“Over a decade ago we warned the Government that wage cuts and the decimation of our ‘terms and conditions’ would have far reaching and devastating consequences on the Police Service. Our reward? Sneered at, we were crying wolf!

“Fast forward 30 years. The UK national rail strike seems to be prompting constant references to the 1984-1985 miners’ strike, one of the most bitter and divisive industrial disputes in living memory. So poignant that it still stands as a point of reference not just for those involved the strike, but for the country as a whole, it remains corrosive and alienating, we remember.

“Whilst things have moved on considerably in the decades which have followed, the one thing that hasn’t is our pay and our conditions.

“Once again our brave colleagues across England and Wales are having to Police picket lines. We are left having to pick up the pieces of Government decisions. Our reward, we get sound bites from the Home Secretary, who once said that Police Officers are not interested in Politics, they want their Government to take practical action that helps them get on with their job.

“Home Secretary, we tell you now that we are interested in politics and we want our Government to take practical action that allows Police Officers to pay their bills, feed their families and get to work.

“We want a Government that shows us the value they place in us by a proper end to the decimation and disrespect of what is often considered the pinnacle of Policing in the World, British Police Officers.

“We need the government to show us the respect we deserve through proper pay, but what do we get in return? Poverty.

“We are not asking for a favour, we are asking for our fair and rightful entitlement and an end to the decade of pay regression and disrespect.”