28 September 2022
New Home Secretary Suella Braverman is being urged to prioritise talks with the Police Federation to discuss the financial and work pressures on its 139,000 members across England and Wales.
The Federation has congratulated Ms Braverman on her appointment but also called on her to urgently address the issues facing policing and told her it was unacceptable that police officers have seen a 25 per cent real term pay cut over the last 12 years.
A separate letter to new Prime Minister Liz Truss highlighted the serious concerns over police pay and working conditions and pointed out that this year’s pay award, which came after the pay freeze of 2021, is barely sufficient to meet heightened energy costs this winter.
Derbyshire branch chair Tony Wetton said it was important that policing’s relationship with the new administration got off to a good start.
He said: “To say we never saw eye-to-eye with the previous Home Secretary would be putting it mildly to be honest. Priti Patel talked a good game about her support for the police service but actions speak louder than words and despite all the praise and platitudes she did little to convince us that she really did have our backs.
“Our members work extremely hard in difficult conditions. They are often expected to place their lives and health on the line to protect the public and keep their communities safe and for that they deserve respect, recognition and fair remuneration for the difficult jobs they do.
“For many years that has not been the case and now is the perfect time to breathe new life into the ailing relationship between policing and the Government.
“We hope the incoming Prime Minister and her new Home Secretary will start as they mean to go on by tackling some of the key issues that have led to that breakdown over recent years, not least the ongoing stand-off over pay and conditions which remains by far the biggest cause for concern among our members.
“Police officers are facing the same hardships as everyone else as a result of inflation, soaring household bills and the cost of living crisis but they perform a unique role in society which no longer seems to get the recognition it deserves.
“Derbyshire Police Federation congratulates Ms Truss and Ms Braverman on their appointments and wish them all the very best for the future but they must be willing to right some wrongs and agree to work more closely with the Police Federation to ensure our relationship with them improves.”
The Federation has also written to the Chancellor while the Home Secretary on Friday sent an open letter to police leaders.