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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Police Officer pay needs huge hike as it dramatically falls 20% behind the cost of living over the past decade

12 April 2022

Police Officer pay now needs a huge hike as it has dramatically fallen 20% behind the cost of living over the past decade +.

The Police Federation’s #PayOurPolice campaign is promoting across Social Media how some serving police officers are sadly using food banks, struggling to put the heating on at home or being afford the fuel to get to work - and how some police officers are even having to sofa surf as they can’t afford a place to stay.

As well as calling for a pay rise for officers in 2022 – to at least ensure officers do not fall any further behind inflation - the #PayOurPolice campaign is reminding the public, Government and MPs of how constant attacks to pay and conditions over the past 10+ years have left their Bobbies beleaguered.

Mark Loker, Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said: “Whenever the mention of pay and proper remuneration is the topic, as a Police Officer, it always feels folly. None of us decide to become Police Officers knowing that it will afford us wealth or the ability to amass wealth over a career, for us all its about being paid fairly and treated properly for the often-unseen work that we do.

“All we want to do is put food on our family tables, heat our homes, fuel our cars and be properly recognised and rewarded for stepping into harm’s way, to protect the public we serve.

“Many people do not realise that Police Officers have severe restrictions on their private lives that means we are expected to maintain the same standards of professional behaviour whether on or off duty, we are meant to be bastions of integrity and that is quite proper.

“But with that surely comes proper recognition for the difficult and often dangerous job that we all do; Sadly it doesn’t.

“Many of us are assaulted performing our duty, too many are assaulted daily, not just physical attacks but mentally broken by the work and the nature of the work that we all do, no amount of money can repair that damage.

“For too long now police Officers mental and physical health has been eroded, for too long Police numbers have been eroded and for far too long Police Officers recognition has been eroded. Either through changes to our pensions, with no recourse or pay freezes and pay restraint, with no voice.”

Mark added: “I am often asked what amount of pay would be enough? I say enough is enough. Whilst it saddens me to speak to my colleagues who are victims of assault, spat on, kicked and punched, but whilst some may say that is part of the role what isn’t part of being a Police Officer is being exposed to and expected to tolerate being reviled by sections of society, reviled by our government and impoverished through a lack of fair pay and conditions.

“What saddens and breaks my heart more than anything is knowing that my brave colleagues are rewarded with nothing short of contempt and derision.

“So enough will only be enough when Police Officers are treated properly, treated with dignity and respect and properly remunerated for the dangerous work we do. If politicians deserve a 2.7% pay rise, then Police Officers deserve no less, after al isn’t this Government all about ‘levelling up’?”

The #PayOurPolice campaign is also circulating extensive public polling of the electorate that shows high backing for a police officer pay rise from voters across England and Wales. Four out of five members of the public surveyed support a police officer pay rise at the next opportunity.

A Police Federation spokesman said: “Regardless of the political party people support, voters polled say that MPs Backing our Bobbies with words AND actions would result in more votes for their parties.

“But MPs should not just back a pay rise for police officers because it’s a vote winner – they should back a pay rise for police officers because it’s the right thing to do. So our undervalued officers can be properly recognised and rewarded for their work and the risks they face.”