23 February 2023
Calls by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for a pay award for officers that keeps pace with inflation are being backed by Derbyshire Police Federation.
Sir Mark Rowley warned that he will not be able to achieve the Met’s recruitment targets or retain existing officers during a cost of living crisis without a pay award this year of 10 per cent - which is the current level of inflation.
The Government has indicated to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) that it was thinking more along the lines of a 3.5 per cent increase for 2023/24.
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton commented: “It’s not often that we see a chief officer speaking out in the candid way that Sir Mark Rowley has this week. He is absolutely right to do so, and I back what he is saying. The National Police Chiefs’ Council now needs to be just as vocal in supporting officers up and down the country. Their submission to the Pay Review Body calls for a fully funded pay award which recognises the impact of the cost of living on officers and the unique duties and responsibilities of being a police officer, including the fact that they are not allowed to strike. That would be a realistic and fair starting point.
“My colleagues have suffered a real terms pay cut of 20 per cent over the last decade and some are struggling even to put food on the table and support their families. Everything is going up and up and pay is not keeping up. Consequently, our officers are getting poorer and, as Sir Mark says, this then makes it harder to attract new talent and even to hold on to our experienced officers, let alone maintain their morale and wellbeing.
“If the Government wants to hit its uplift targets and keep those recruits it has to act.”
Last year, officers received an average five per cent increase (still well below inflation) and in the Home Office’s submission to the PRRB this year, it notes that funding provided through the 2023/24 police funding settlement is higher than agreed at Spending Review 2021, which included a provisional assumption of a two per cent pay increase.
The submission goes on to say that its assessment is “there is scope for forces to budget up to a 3.5 per cent pay award” so long as efficiencies are achieved.
The Police Federation of England and Wales no longer makes a submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body, having withdrawn and called for the process to be replaced with a “truly independent” body.