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Devon & Cornwall Police Federation

"Police officers have seen a 16% real-terms pay cut over the past 12 years"

15 March 2024

 

Devon & Cornwall Police officers are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis – with some relying on food banks – and they desperately need a real-terms pay rise, the Federation has said.

 

Nick Jones, Chair of Devon & Cornwall Police Federation, was speaking after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley gave evidence to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) and called for a police pay rise at or above the rate of inflation. 

 

Sir Mark pointed out that police officers had seen a 16% real-terms pay cut over the past 12 years and that the high cost of living was placing an even bigger strain on officers, as well as hampering recruitment.

 

He also asked for the lowest police pay point to be abolished, saying: “It is at the lowest pay points that we’re the least competitive with other sectors, which is why we’re also asking for the lowest pay point to be abolished, with more freedom to set starting salaries.”

 

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has long called for the Government to consider the “P-factor” in its decisions on police pay – the element of police pay that reflects the unique obligations and responsibilities police officers experience relative to other comparative roles.

 

Nick said: “I wholeheartedly agree with Sir Mark’s comments – we have been attempting to influence the pay review body with tangible evidence of the reduction in officers’ real-terms pay and remuneration over many years, with little in return. That’s why the Federation stepped away from the PRRB, questioning their true independence.

“Whether Sir Mark’s submission to the PRRB has any traction, we will have to wait and see, but certainly officers within Devon & Cornwall are feeling the cost of living increases just as they affect the rest of society. 

“Our attrition rates are high, as the low pay is compounded by an ever-increasing workload and relentless demand from the communities we serve. 

“Indeed officers have been making use of member support vouchers as well as food banks that are discreetly placed in stations, meaning they don’t have to skip meals while on duty. This has to be unacceptable in this modern age. 

“I have no doubt that bringing remuneration back to where it should be – and it’s currently 16% behind in real terms – will have a real impact on recruitment and retention, not to mention increased wellbeing for our officers and reduced stress and anxiety.”