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Gloucestershire Police Federation

Conference: The Government have “taken their eye off the ball when it comes to police pay”

11 October 2023

Many police officers are still facing financial difficulties, the PFEW Secretary has said, asking: “How can it be right that police officers struggle to put a roof over their head and food on the table?”

Speaking at the 2023 PFEW Conference, Calum Macleod insisted that the PFEW would continue to fight for better police pay. He told members: “We understand the financial pressures you are under, and we are with you. The federated ranks are suffering from pay being reduced in real terms by over 20% since 2010.

“We are all aware of the current fiscal situation of the country, yet how can it be acceptable that those who protect the public 24 hours a day continue to struggle to make ends meet? That is unacceptable and needs to be redressed by the Government.”

Calum continued: “We need a mechanism to fairly, and adequately, reward our members. I believe the current mechanism is broken – we need a new one, which police and members of the public can trust in.” The PFEW withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) in July 2021.

The PFEW was talking to policing chiefs and politicians and carrying out research in order to highlight the pressures officers faced, Calum said.

He also said that all the political parties needed to put policing higher up their list of priorities and their manifestos, and that the Government had “taken their eye off the ball when it comes to police pay”.

During the Q&A session, Calum was asked about the possible raising of regional allowances, and he replied: “I understand the struggles officers in the south east of the country have. We have had a discussion with the national reward team at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, stating we need to be reviewing these allowances to ensure they are fit for purpose. I have been reassured there is ongoing work in respect of this.”

He added that there had been a “drip, drip, drip of negativity towards policing" and that the narrative needed to change for the sake of officers, but also for the benefit of the public.

When asked by a Federation member if he would join the police if he had his time again, Calum said he wouldn’t – and that he didn’t encourage his young son to become an officer – for the reasons he had mentioned. But he added that policing could be a very rewarding job and that “the sense of pride in making a difference is massive”.

 

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