12 August 2021
John Apter has promised he “will continue to put pressure on until we are listened to” after the Government failed to respond to a letter from the Federation demanding a review of officers’ pay freeze.
The comments from the national chair of the Police Federation come after he hand-delivered a letter to No 10 urging the Prime Minister and Chancellor to reverse their decision to freeze the pay of officers who earn more than £24,000 a year.
Two weeks later and John, who has still not received a response, said his letter made clear that officers are “appalled” about the Government’s disdain and disrespect for them, and said it was made even more frustrating following their efforts during the pandemic.
“By now, I had hoped that I would be able to update you with a response or solution, but we are still waiting for a reply. Yet another reason we have lost confidence in this Government,” John told Federation members.
“As police officers, we do not have employment rights, we have restrictions placed on us unlike the vast majority of other public sector workers. Rather than recognise this, the Government has taken advantage of it. This is the contempt my colleagues are dealt with by a Government which claims to ‘have our backs’.
“Government policies are putting the public at risk - this is the reality.”
Following a meeting between colleagues from 43 forces across England and Wales to discuss and agree next steps and action, John is now urging officers to contact their MPs in support of the Federation’s demands.
“We are united across the country and will continue to put pressure on the decision-makers in Government until we are listened to. This is where you can help play your part,” he added.
“I know many of you have written to your local MPs about your concerns and I would encourage you to follow up these letters with in-person visits to support our request for fairness. Fridays are constituency days and, if you live within a constituency, you are within your rights to make an appointment to speak with your MP locally.
“It’s important that your MPs hear first-hand what policing looks like each and every day, warts and all. This is our reality and we need it to be heard.”
John said he shares the frustration of officers but encourages them to “at least try”.
“Collectively, you and your family members are a loud voice, make sure you have it heard,” he explained, “To the public, that silent majority who we know support their police: please, speak up for us, stand with us and help us to get our voice heard.
“This is about us all coming together, united and focused. We just want to be treated fairly, that’s not too much to ask.”