22 March 2022
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to give a real-terms pay increase for members in his Spring Statement.
The letter highlights the financial pressures that officers are under as the cost of living spirals, and the impact it’s having on members’ morale and mental health.
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton said: “This letter expresses just how big an issue pay is to our members and the impact it’s having on so many of our members.
“Our annual pay and morale survey found that Derbyshire currently has the lowest reported morale of all forces in the country, and a decade of pay caps and pay freezes has massively contributed to that. Police officer pay is 20 per cent behind where it was a decade ago and that obviously has a massive impact.
“And now we’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis; energy, fuel and food bills are rising steeply, interest rates are going up and our members are really feeling the pinch.
“It’s a pity that police officers are in a position where they need to resort to writing to the Chancellor asking him to show the gratitude that they so richly deserve, but last year we had to withdraw from the rigged pay negotiation system that was in place. Police officers need a fair system for setting their pay which is independent of Home Office and Treasury manipulation.
“They’ve given everything over the last two years during the pandemic and rewarded with nothing. Now is the time for that to change and for the Chancellor to recognise our members’ sacrifices and commitment, and the unique roles they perform in society, with an above-inflation pay rise in his Spring Statement.”
The letter has been written by national Federation secretary Alex Duncan and copied to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
It says: “It’s been an incredibly tough two years for police officers dealing with significant extra demands posed by the Covid pandemic. Alongside these challenges, since 2010, police officers have faced increasing workloads and a staggering real-terms cut in their pay of 20 per cent.
“There is now little difference between the hourly wage of a new starter and the national living wage. All the evidence suggests this is having a crippling effect on morale across the police service.
“All the evidence shows that the public are on our side, with recent polling showing that four in five people support a pay rise for police officers at the next opportunity. A similar proportion say that police officers are important to the fabric of their communities, and they understand how dangerous being a police officer can be.
“Use the Spring Statement to demonstrate that your Government actually does respect police officers.”