9 March 2023
The Police Federation today called for a 17 per cent pay rise for members after independent research by a non-partisan think tank revealed the extent of the real-terms decline in their wages.
Derbyshire branch chair Tony Wetton backed the move and said it was time for police officers to be properly rewarded for the work they do and their unique position in society.
Tony said: “Police officers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and that begins with better pay.
“The 17 per cent increase we are calling for reflects the cost-of-living crisis that many of our members face but also corrects 13 years of real-terms pay cuts and compensates officers for the dangers they’re routinely exposed to as part of their job.
“They must be fairly rewarded for doing a job that is so important and unique that they do not have access to industrial rights.”
The Police Federation issued its 17 per cent pay claim after a study by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) found wages had lagged almost 20 per cent behind inflation since 2000.
In that same period, protective services workers saw an average real-terms rise of 1 per cent while other public sector workers received 14 per cent. MPs’ salaries went up by 4 per cent in real terms.
The independent SMF report said the decline in pay was likely to be linked to the restrictions on police officers’ right to strike, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage to all other workers including other emergency service workers.
A key factor in discussions of police pay is the “P-factor” which SMF has suggested should be a figure offered in addition to its findings.
The report references the P-factor as an element of police pay that reflects the unique obligations and responsibilities police officers’ experience relative to other comparable roles.
This includes their unique risk of exposure to physical and psychological harm, alongside the restrictions that are placed upon their private lives.
The P-factor payment does not feature in the report highlighting that the actual figure of degradation of police pay is significantly higher.
Police Federation national chair Steve Hartshorn said the SMF research should act as a “wake-up call for policy-makers in the UK”.
He said: “Police officers put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect their communities.
“That is why today our National Council has taken the decision to call for a minimum of 17 per cent increase in pay for our officers.
“The Government can no longer sit by and ignore our members’ basic needs and must recognise the impact of this independent research.
“In the context of ongoing inflation, indications of a police retention crisis, and reports of officers being forced to turn to food banks, the issue of police pay must be addressed now after more than a decade of being ignored.”