16 June 2022
Police officers are struggling to make ends meet, Gloucestershire Police Federation has said, as over 120 officers and staff requested food vouchers over just three days last week.
Gloucestershire Police Federation Chair Steve James advertised the £50 food vouchers in the middle of last week and by Friday he’d had over 120 responses. A further 50 police officers and staff had asked for a voucher by Monday morning.
Steve said: “Even I was shocked by the scale of that pick-up. This demonstrates the state people are in.
“We’ve seen an uptick in officers coming to the Federation for advice around finances, but I think we’re still in the early days of the cost-of-living crisis. We’re expecting it to get worse, as utility bills go up, as well as the price of petrol. Officers have to get to work every day – not everyone is posted to a station near where they live.
“It all goes back to pay. We’re all waiting to see what we get this year… Inflation is 9% at the moment, so if we get the 2.5% that’s been muted, that’s effectively a 6.5% pay cut this year, on top of 10 years of pay cuts and freezes. And the starting wage is barely more than the minimum wage."
He added: “You can’t have an effective police service that is run by officers who can’t afford to live.”